[Penicillin treatment of acute maxillary sinusitis in adults. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial from general practice]

Ugeskr Laeger. 2000 Oct 2;162(40):5351-3.
[Article in Danish]


Introduction: The aim of the study was to compare the effectiveness of penicillin V with placebo in the treatment of adult patients with acute maxillary sinusitis (in general practice).

Material and methods: The study was designed as a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 26 Danish general practices. The participants were 133 adult patients with acute maxillary sinusitis clinically diagnosed on maxillary pain and raised values of either C-reactive protein (CRP) or the erythrocyte sedimentation (ESR) rate. Main outcome measures were pain score and illness score, and CRP and ESR values after initiation of treatment.

Results: Penicillin V led to a better recovery than placebo. The difference in pain reduction was statistically significant three days after initiation of treatment, whereas no significant difference was found in the reduction in the sense of illness. At the end of the study, significantly more patients in the penicillin group were completely free of pain than in the placebo group. This difference was found only in patients with an initial pain score of more than three. The cure rate was 71% in the penicillin group and 37% in the placebo group. Significantly more patients treated with penicillin achieved normal CRP values than those receiving placebo, respectively 88% and 75%.

Conclusion: Penicillin V is more effective than placebo in the treatment of acute maxillary sinusitis in adults in general practice, but only in patients with pronounced pain.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • English Abstract
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Denmark
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maxillary Sinusitis / diagnosis
  • Maxillary Sinusitis / drug therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Penicillin V / administration & dosage*
  • Penicillins / administration & dosage


  • Penicillins
  • Penicillin V