Do antibiotics shorten symptoms in patients with purulent nasal discharge?
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For most patients with purulent nasal discharge, antibiotics don't decrease symptom duration; they do increase adverse events (strength of recommendation [SOR]: A, 3 meta-analyses and 2 randomized controlled trials [RCTs]). Researchers in the field don't recommend using antibiotics as routine treatment for purulent rhinorrhea associated with symptoms of upper respiratory infection ([SOR]: C, expert opinion).
Journal of Family Practice, 61(4) 2012: 218-219.