Analgesics for sinusitis


Generic Name Brand Name
acetaminophen Tylenol
Generic Name Brand Name
aspirin Bayer
ibuprofen Advil, Motrin
naproxen Aleve

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 aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or similar medicines.
  • A sensation of ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

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

Very rarely, ibuprofen and naproxen have caused meningitis. No one has died of this complication, but hospitalization is required to treat it. People who have an autoimmune disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, may be more at risk of developing this complication.

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. However, do not use them for more than 5 to 7 days in a row without consulting your doctor.

Aspirin 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.

Last Updated: August 15, 2008

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology

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