What are the side effects of sinus medications?

Sinus medications both over-the-counter and prescribed can provide a number of benefits when treating sinusitis. The benefits on the other hand can also be accompanied by undesirable side effects that you have to be well aware of. It is vital to learn the possible side effects of sinus medications before they are taken. Some of the commonly used medications that are used when treating sinusitis include decongestants, antibiotics, nasal corticosteroids, mucolytic and antihistamines.


Antibiotics basically eliminate bacteria and stop the sinus infection from progressing to a serious complication. On the other hand, the overuse of antibiotics can cause certain types of bacteria to develop resistance to the antibiotic.  As a result, the individual would require powerful and even costly antibiotics to effectively eliminate the bacteria. Another drawback of antibiotics is that they can also destroy the harmless bacteria present in the respiratory tract which can lead to fungal and yeast overgrowth in the nasal passage. Other possible side effects of antibiotics include nausea, upset stomach and diarrhea.


Decongests are readily available in two forms – nasal spray and oral medication. Both forms can cause serious side effects. If the oral medications are used, it can cause insomnia, agitation, irregular heartbeat and urinary retention. As for the nasal spray, it is considered safer to use though some can experience a temporary stinging or burning sensation in the nose after use. If the nasal spray is overused, it will become ineffective or even aggravate the congestion which is called as the rebound effect.


Sinusitis medications-antihistamines

The potential side effects of antihistamine include stomach pain, drowsiness, dizziness, headache and loss of appetite.

Even though mucolytic is not commonly used to treat sinusitis, some doctors can prescribe the medication to individuals who have a lot of mucus present in their nasal passage and lungs. This medication works by thinning out the mucus, thus allowing the individual to eliminate it by coughing the mucus out. The possible side effects if a mucolytic is used include drowsiness, mild stomach upset, and nausea and chest tightness.

Nasal corticosteroids

Nasal corticosteroids can effectively provide relief to sinus congestion caused by hay fever or rhinitis. These medications are available in the form of sprays can help minimize the inflammation and lessen the reaction of the mucous lining in the nose to any allergens. The potential side effects if nasal corticosteroids are used include burning or stinging sensation in the nose, sneezing, headache and nose bleed.


Antihistamines are not considered ideal for sinusitis since they dry out the mucous in the nasal cavities, thus allowing the bacteria to breed and increase in numbers. These medications must only be used to help relieve sinus problems during severe allergies. If you want to learn more about the other treatment options for allergies, click here. The potential side effects of antihistamine include stomach pain, drowsiness, dizziness, headache and loss of appetite.

If an individual is suffering from sinusitis, these are the medications that are commonly prescribed by the doctor. By being familiar with the possible side effects of these medications, the individual will be prepared.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply