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Comparative effectiveness of amoxicillin versus amoxicillin-clavulanate among adults with acute sinusitis in emergency department and urgent care settings.

Objective: To compare the effectiveness of amoxicillin-clavulanate versus amoxicillin for adults diagnosed with acute sinusitis (AS). A secondary objective compared antibiotic effectiveness in patients meeting risk criteria for treatment failure.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study of adults diagnosed with AS prescribed amoxicillin ± clavulanate within Veterans Affairs emergency departments from 2012-2019 was conducted. The primary outcome was sinusitis-related return visits for amoxicillin versus amoxicillin-clavulanate. Secondary outcomes included 30-day infectious complications, gastrointestinal-related adverse events (AEs), and hospitalizations. Propensity-score matching and logistic regression models adjusted for potential confounders.

Results: A total of 89,627 AS patient visits were identified: 18,576 prescribed amoxicillin and 71,051 amoxicillin-clavulanate. Most patients were male (75,604; 84.4%) and afebrile (80,624; 91.7%). The propensity score-matched cohort comprised 17,929 amoxicillin and 42,294 amoxicillin-clavulanate patient visits. There was no difference in sinusitis-related return visits between amoxicillin (4.9%) and amoxicillin-clavulanate (5.1%) (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.96; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.88, 1.04; P  = 0.317). Infectious complications (amoxicillin [0.3%] vs amoxicillin-clavulanate [0.4%]); (adjusted OR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.57, 1.07; P  = 0.124) and hospitalization (amoxicillin [2.0%] vs amoxicillin-clavulanate [2.4%]); (adjusted OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.81, 1.04; P  = 0.173) were not different. Gastrointestinal-related AEs were lower with amoxicillin (0.5%) relative to amoxicillin-clavulanate (0.7%); (adjusted OR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.53, 0.86; P  = 0.002). Comorbidity was the only guideline-recommended risk factor that was a significant predictor of infectious complications with respect to treatment (amoxicillin vs amoxicillin-clavulanate, OR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.94; P  = 0.022).

Conclusion: Amoxicillin demonstrated similar efficacy to amoxicillin-clavulanate for AS with fewer gastrointestinal-related AEs. Amoxicillin is a viable option in adults with AS meeting criteria for antibiotic therapy.

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