Cefuroxime axetil is a beta-lactamase-stable, second-generation, oral cephalosporin that penetrates sinus tissue in concentrations exceeding the MIC90 values (the minimum concentration of drug needed to inhibit the growth of 90% of an isolate of a particular microorganism) for pathogens most commonly associated with acute sinusitis, including Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae. A review of all clinical data published to date demonstrates that cefuroxime axetil has been evaluated in the treatment of acute sinusitis and acute exacerbations of chronic sinusitis ("acute-on-chronic sinusitis") in 18 clinical trials involving 1516 assessable patients. In 12 randomized, comparative trials, the rates of satisfactory clinical outcomes (cure or improvement, 79% to 100%) and bacteriologic eradication (84% to 100%) reported with the use of 250 mg of cefuroxime axetil twice daily were similar to those observed with the use of amoxicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium, cefaclor, cefadroxil, cefixime, clarithromycin, and doxycycline. In these comparisons, no antibiotic demonstrated any therapeutic advantages over cefuroxime axetil regarding time to symptom abatement. Cefuroxime axetil was at least as well tolerated as the other antibiotics. Overall, the role of cefuroxime axetil in the treatment of sinusitis appears to be as one of the broad-spectrum antibiotics that can be used for infections due to the most commonly implicated sinus pathogens, especially those due to the increasing number of relatively penicillin-resistant strains of S pneumoniae and beta-lactamase-producing strains of H influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis.