Antibiotic prescriptions for child sinusitis varied between specialties after Finnish guidelines were updated in 2018

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Aim: We evaluated antibiotic prescriptions issued for Finnish children with acute sinusitis by a nationwide private outpatient clinic network from 2014–2020. Data were compared before and after updated guidelines in 2018. Methods: The study comprised data on 45 296 children aged 2–17 years with acute sinusitis, namely diagnoses, ages, dates, the doctor's specialty and any antibiotics. We measured compliance with the updated 2018 Finnish guidelines, which recommended amoxicillin or amoxicillin-clavulanic acid for children under 12 years old, with doxycycline as an alternative for 12 years plus. Results: There were 6621–7585 visits per year for acute sinusitis in 2014–2019 and 2954 in 2020. Antibiotics were prescribed for 37.9%–41.6% of patients during the study years. Amoxicillin, including penicillin, accounted for 35.9% of prescriptions, followed by amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (26.9%). Macrolides accounted for 20.6% and, encouragingly, decreased by 38% from 2014–2019. Doxycycline accounted for 5.3%. Paediatricians, general practitioners (GPs) and ear, nose and throat specialists followed the guidelines in 75.1%, 73.8% and 66.7% of cases, respectively. GPs prescribed antibiotics more often than other physicians. Conclusion: Antibiotics were prescribed for about 40% of acute sinusitis visits by Finnish children from 2014–2019. Specialities differed with regard to prescribing rates and whether they followed the guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • acute sinusitis
  • antibiotics
  • macrolides
  • national guidelines
  • pandemic

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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