Economic Evaluation of Antibacterials in the Treatment of Acute Sinusitis
Objective: The objective of this study was to compare costs, efficacy and cost efficacy of alternate oral antibacterial regimens for the ambulatory treatment of acute sinusitis. A public third-party perspective was adopted. Design: The analysis was based on a decision tree and considered the episode of care from the decision to initiate an antibacterial until the end of the first course of treatment or the end of a subsequent course of treatment when needed. Efficacy data were retrieved from published clinical trials. Direct medical costs included the costs of physician visits, diagnostic tests and medications. Setting: The study pertained to adults treated in a primary-care setting in the Canadian province of Quebec. Interventions: The antibacterials studied were amoxicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, azithromycin, cefaclor, cefuroxime axetil and clarithromycin. Main outcome measures and results: The main outcome measured was the proportion of patients showing resolution or improvement of their symptoms. Initiating a treatment with amoxicillin was associated with similar efficacy and lower overall costs when compared with the other antibacterials. Low dosages of clarithromycin and azithromycin followed amoxicillin in terms of cost-efficacy ratio. Conclusions: This study confirms the place of amoxicillin as a first choice agent for acute sinusitis, with low dose clarithromycin and azithromycin as second choices.
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