We investigated the clinical value of intranasal budesonide in acute sinusitis in 52 children with acute maxillary sinusitis. We randomly divided them into two groups: group 1 received oral pseudoephedrine (2 x 30 mg) and cefaclor (40 mg/kg) for 10 days, and group 2 received intranasal budesonide (2 x 100 microg) and cefaclor (40 mg/kg) for 10 days. Symptoms of headache, cough, and nasal stuffiness and signs of nasal discharge were graded before and after treatment. The patients whose symptoms and signs completely normalized after treatment were considered to have recovered, and those with persisting symptoms and signs after treatment as having not recovered. The results of the two treatment groups were compared. The recovery rate of the children in group 2 were significantly higher than those in group 1 (P < 0.05). No adverse drug effects were determined during the study period. These findings suggest that topical steroids may be a useful adjunctive agent in the treatment of acute sinusitis of children without apparent side effects and can possibly hasten the resolution of symptoms.