“All over-the-counter (OTC) medicines in the UK are rigorously assessed for efficacy before they are licenced and brought to market.
“As the NICE guidance suggests, very few people with sinusitis will benefit from taking antibiotics and should instead rest and self-treat their aches and pains with OTC medicines, or talk to their local pharmacist about other ways to help with symptoms.
“Painkillers are an effective way to manage some of the symptoms of a sinus infection, such as a headache or pain around the eyes and forehead, but decongestants can also play an important role. There is a wide range of decongestants available – both in oral and nasal form, which provides choice for the individual based on their personal preference.
“It’s important to remember that decongestants will not ‘cure’ people of a sinus infection, but if used in accordance with the on pack information and patient information leaflet, they can help to relieve symptoms, such as a runny or blocked nose. This allows people to breathe easier and means that they can get on with their day and sleep better at night.
“However, some decongestant tablets do also contain paracetamol or ibuprofen, so as with all medicines, it’s important that people always read and follow the instructions on pack and are careful not to take more than one product containing the same active ingredient. A pharmacist can give advice on the most suitable medicine to take if people are unsure.”