As part of an ongoing effort to help physicians curtail the rising cost of health care by preventing the ordering of unnecessary tests and procedures, the AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) has released its second Choosing Wisely list of recommendations. This list details various tests and treatments physicians should think twice about before performing, ordering, or prescribing.
Given the rise of multidrug resistant bacteria in recent years and links between antibiotics and a number of side effects the over prescription of antibiotics is particularly concerning. The Choosing Wisely list includes guidelines for treatment of sinus infections with antibiotics and states that antibiotics should NOT be routinely prescribed for acute mild-to-moderate sinusitis unless symptoms last for seven or more days, or symptoms worsen after initial clinical improvement. Symptoms must include discolored nasal secretions and facial or dental tenderness when touched. Most sinusitis in the ambulatory setting is due to a viral infection that will resolve on its own. Antibiotics are not effective for treatment of viral infections and can have serious side effects. Despite consistent recommendations to the contrary, antibiotics are prescribed in more than 80 percent of outpatient visits for acute sinusitis and sinusitis accounts for 16 million office visits and $5.8 billion in annual health care costs.
Please review the entire list Choosing Wisely list and help us keep the cost of healthcare down by working with us to decrease the number of unnecessary tests, procedures, and medicines.