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November 1, 1995

Three vs 10 Days of Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole for Acute Maxillary Sinusitis

Author Affiliations

Kayenta Indian Health Service Clinic Kayenta, Ariz

JAMA. 1995;274(17):1341. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530170021011

To the Editor.  —We have several questions regarding the article by Dr Williams and colleagues.1 If decongestants alone produce a clinical response in 70% of patients2 and another 25% of patients have continued symptoms regardless of the duration of therapy,1 then a priori we would expect to find no clinically important difference between 3 vs 10 days of antibiotic therapy. That is, most people will be better and some will be worse regardless of how long they take antibiotics. Although these numbers were generated from slightly different populations, they suggest the study is vastly underpowered to find a statistical difference between the two treatment arms.Second, if clinical success incorporates "cure, much improved, and slightly improved" and clinical failure incorporates "same or worse," then Table 3 would show 34 successes and five failures for 3 days of antibiotics vs 36 successes and one failure for 10 days

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