Acute Rhinosinusitis: Prescription Patterns in a Real-World Setting

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Understand real-world prescription patterns for patients presenting with a first diagnosis of ARS and evaluate adherence to published medical guidelines.

Study Design

Retrospective administrative database analysis.


US-based outpatient settings.


From a US claims database (MarketScan), 99,033 patients were identified with acute rhinosinusitis (ARS) in 2012 (“index”), with a complete medical and prescription history for 12 months preindex and 18 months postindex and no diagnoses of asthma or chronic rhinosinusitis. Of these, a random 10,000-patient sample was generated matched for age and sex to the initial cohort. Prescriptions and procedures at index, as well as complications up to 12 months postindex, were analyzed.


Nearly 90% of all patients received a prescription at index. Antibiotics were prescribed for 84.8% patients, followed by antitussives (16.2% for adults, 6.2% for pediatrics), nasal corticosteroids (15.5% adults, 7.5% for pediatrics), and systemic corticosteroids (10.3% for adults, 5.5% for pediatrics), with 49% adults and 29% children receiving >1 medication at first visit. Macrolides were the most frequently prescribed antibiotics (35.6% adults, 28.6% pediatrics), followed by amoxicillin/clavulanate and amoxicillin. Within 12 months of index, 3 patients presented with meningitis and 3 with orbital cellulitis.


Significant variability in ARS treatment was observed, highlighting the need for heightened awareness of existing guidelines.

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