You may have had either a viral infection or bacterial infection 3 weeks ago. A viral infection would get better on its own. Amoxicillin only treats bacterial infections, not viral. Also, allergies could have triggered sinus congestion and this could have led to a bacterial sinus infection, which the amoxicillin would treat in non-resistant cases. You could also have had a bacterial infection that was only partially susceptible to the amoxicillin.
Now, everything is coming back and you're not feeling well, and the same questions arise. Are you having an infection from a new virus, is this bacterial, or do you have allergies triggering sinus congestion and another possible sinus infection? I would obtain an aspirate of the sinus and nasal passage for culture and sensitivities, so that in the event that this is bacterial, I would know the best antibiotic to prescribe given the growth on the culture and its susceptibility to various antibiotics. I would probably obtain a strep test and culture of the throat, along with a monospot (to test for infectious mono). Prescription-wise, I would likely recommend a decongestant like Drixoral 12-hour as long as there are no medications or conditions that prevent it being administered, and the Mucinex-D. You may very well need a stronger, more broad-spectrum antibiotic since there are a lot of bacteria resistant to amoxicillin. Zithromax, or azithromycin, does NOT work well with sinus infections because it does not penetrate fluid filled cavities well. It penetrates tissues well, but not sinus chambers A better alternative may be Levaquin (levofloxacin) for the antibiotic, unless the culture suggests otherwise. Print this up and take it along with you to your doctor.
If you can breathe through your nose despite the stuffiness, you could consider the use of a Neti pot to rinse the sinus passages. Have you ever heard of, or considered using a Neti Pot and gentle saline with sodium bicarbonate buffer mixture to help keep your nasal passages, sinuses, eustachian tube openings, and nasopharynx (throat area behind the nasal passage) clean and decongested? If you're not familiar with the Neti pot, I would like you to take a look at the following links:
I purchased my Neti pot from Australia. It is a stainless steel model and holds a little more solution than most. I use pre-packaged non-iodised salt and sodium bicarbonate buffer in just above body temperature water .... about 100 F. It fills and rinses the sinuses, nasal passages, nasopharynx (where the Eustachian tubes open), shrinks the mucous membranes, and helps me keep the nasal and pharyngeal passages open, decongested, and cleaner. Walgreens sells them, as do many local drugstores. The little pre-packaged salt and bicarb packets are made by Sinu-Cleanse. It's not the only brand, though, there are many others.
I also recommend to many of MY patients the use of Ponaris drops after completing a Neti irrigation session (I use my Neti twice daily). Ponaris can be used as needed. The active ingredients in Ponaris are: Oils of pine, eucalyptus, peppermint, cajeput, and cottonseed as specially prepared iodized organic oils. Total iodine 0.5% - 0.7%. Very refreshing when you feel ill and stuffy.
For good oral hygeine, I also use some products like Biotene mouthwash (a non-alcohol non-irritating mouthwash) and Biotene or Dr. Katz toothpaste and gel to keep bacteria to a minimum, and prevent secondary bacterial infections on the sore areas in the mouth. Biotene is specifically formulated for people with a dry mouth.
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XXXXX XXXXX, MD