Analgesics for Sinusitis

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Analgesics for Sinusitis


Generic NameBrand Name
acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)Aspirin, Bufferin
ibuprofenAdvil, Motrin

Stronger pain relievers are available by prescription.

How It Works

These medicines reduce fever and relieve pain associated with sinusitis.

Why It Is Used

Analgesics may be used to reduce fever and relieve headache, toothache, and facial pain caused by infection, inflammation, or congestion in the sinuses.

How Well It Works

Analgesics are helpful in reducing fever and relieving pain caused by sinusitis.

Side Effects

Side effects of analgesics may include:

  • Allergic reactions.
  • Bleeding, which may occur with ASA, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
  • A sensation of ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

Do not give ASA to anyone under age 20 because of the risk of Reye syndrome.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

These medicines are effective, inexpensive, and available without a prescription. But do not use them for more than 5 to 7 days in a row without talking with your doctor.

Saline (saltwater) nasal sprays and washes may help clear up a stuffy nose. Both are available at pharmacies without a prescription. A humidifier may also help thick or dried mucus to drain.

ASA and other medicines that reduce inflammation may not be recommended for people who have asthma because they are known to trigger asthma attacks in some people.

These medicines should be used carefully in people who have liver disease, kidney disease, heart disease, or who have an alcohol use problem.

People who are taking medicines to prevent blood clots should talk with their doctor before using these medicines.

If you give medicine to your baby, follow your doctor’s advice about what amount to give.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF) (What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology
Last Revised September 30, 2010

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.