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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4058
Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
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I have a sinus infection i have had it for 4 months now it

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I have a sinus infection i have had it for 4 months now it has gotten so bad I can't stand it anymore. My problem is i always need a refill on my antibiotic otherwise it seems to lie dormant for a short while and then its back..zithromax works the best but i cant afford it. clarithromycin works real well but when I went to fill the refill prescription the price had jumped from $16.00 to $179.00 I could not afford to refill so now its worst than ever. I need a comparable prescription that does not cost $75.00 to $100.00, I can not take erithimyicin it makes me sick. I can't eat or even finish prescription. . I don't have any health issues besides this. I am a female 48 yrs old. I weigh 107 lbs. In good health. My blood pressure is always normal. I exercise daily a lot of walking.

I see you are off line now but I saw your question and would like to help you.

Before we discuss antibiotics, and/or potential places for you to get evaluated, may I ask, have you ever tried any other treatments for your sinuses?

Also, have you ever evaluated by a specialist such as an ENT (maybe in the past when you had insurance for structural abnormalities?)
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
no I have not. My long time dr. whom I saw the most for this never sent me to any specialts other than an ears nose throat specialist. no abnormalties My long time Dr. was always very thorough in researching what he was unfamiliar with. He did not prescribe freely. He Especially antibiotics. It was commenable but very annoying. I seem to have built up an immunity to antibiotics before coming to him. His extensive research we found zithromycin. I had insurance then.
And it worked great. But zithromycin is so expensive without insurance. I cant possibly afford it. When I go to urgent care they always give me the wrong antiobiotic usually I go thru 3 before getting lucky to have it almost take it away. I can't afford it . I know zithromycin works well. I know clarithromycin works well. Its just the cost. I am assuming they're in or near the same classification of antibiotics? I have a netti pot I use with distilled water it cleans them out.
Thank you for the details. It is good to know that you have been to an ENT (ears, nose and throat specialist) because this means that most likely there is no structural abnormality contributing to your sinus problems.

So it appears that there are two problems: 1) you have difficulty finding a health care provider that will prescribe the medication that helps you. 2) once you get the prescription you have difficulty getting it at a price you can afford.

I'm going to provide some back ground information about these antibiotics that will help to explain why they may work best for you and so that you can determine if generics would be of help in your case.

Azithromycin is the generic name for Zithromax or Zmax. It is a semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotic and yes, it is chemically related to erythromycin and clarithromycin (Biaxin). Effective against a wide variety of bacteria, macrolide antibiotics prevent bacteria from growing by interfering with their ability to make protein. Zithromax in particular is unusual in that it stays in the body for a long time (has a long half-life), allowing for once a day dosing and shorter courses for most infections. The generic form of Zithromax (Azithromycin) is available. For these antibiotics to work well it is important to take them at the same time every day in order to keep a constant level of the drug in the blood stream (as is true for all antibiotics, even those that you take multiple times a day - taking them at random or uneven times or stopping them early can allow the bacteria to come back and will decrease their effectiveness).

If your doctors have never prescribed you the generic form, this is one thing you can ask for to reduce your cost.

When it is time to buy your medication, comparison shop as prices can vary considerably among different pharmacies.

Finally, most pharmaceutical companies have programs that provide free medication to individuals who cannot afford them. There may be income limitations and there are usually forms that may need to be completed by a health care provider. Typically these programs are under-utilized.

Pfizer makes Zithromycin. Here is the page where you can apply for the Pfizer patient assistance program:

Biaxin or Clarithromycin is made by Abbott Pharmaceuticals and here is their patient assistance program:

Since the pharmaceutical companies will require a prescription and sometimes a form filled out by your doctor or health care provider before they can supply you with low cost or free antibiotics I would recommend that you first go to the above websites and get any forms that may need to be filled out before you go in to see a health care provider.

Generic Biaxin (clarithromycin) is made by several companies, by the way:
  • Apotex Corporation
  • Genpharm
  • Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Roxane Laboratories, Inc.
  • Sandoz
  • Teva Pharmaceuticals
  • Watson Pharmaceuticals
  • Wockhardt USA.

Next, some options for you may be 1) go to a "minute clinic" at CVS or other similar lower cost clinic. Most of the Nurse Practitioner's at these clinics will be able to prescribe the medications that you need for this condition. I believe the charge is somewhere from 15.00 to 30.00. It will be helpful to let them know what you have tried before (your history) as you have explained here. It may help to make a copy of the main points so that you don't forget to mention important details - such as having been thouroughly evaluated by your doctor and an ENT and what you tried before and what you found that works.

2) Another low cost clinic is your local health department or federally funded health clinic. This list will help you find one in your area:

Sometimes they still charge a $5.00 fee or other fee based on your income. These clinics may not be located in the newest or most expensive buildings, but they are staffed by competent health care providers, often affiliated with local university training programs.

There are also free standing commercial clinics, that should be less expensive than $300.00. Sometimes it is helpful if you ask about prices up front and also provide the history you have provided. If the doctor is aware from the outset that you have a specific budget, they may be able to keep the cost down.

I'm sorry that we cannot prescribe medication through our website. This is not legal to do, although you may find certain websites that will do this, they are usually located outside of the United states and are able to get around the laws this way, and there is little guarantee of quality or of always receiving the product as described.

Finally, things that can be helpful in decreasing sinus infections (You may or may not be aware of some of these things, so pardon me if you already know this information). Sometimes the infections occur after the sinuses initially become inflammed due to allergies or pollutants. To help decrease allergens, things like making sure your pillow cases are laundered and changed extra often, kept covered when not in use (so as dust, pollen, or pet dander does not settle on them) can be helpful. After spending time out of doors, you may notice that this is a time that it is helpful to use the netti pot. Also, be sure to either boil the netti pot between each use or rinse it for 3 minutes or longer with boiling water (making sure not to burn yourself of course). Distilled water should also be boiled and allowed to cool before using, as bacteria or allergens could get into the container. Filtered water that is then boiled may be an easier choice. Be sure to add the specialized salt in the exact solution amounts as specified. Adding none or too little salt can cause you to retain the water in your system, and does not allow the solutions to do the work of pulling out excess mucous and debre. Adding too much salt to the solution can cause increased irritation and inflammation of the sinus tissue.

You may also find it helpful to use a Hepa filter in your home and/or office.

Some people notice increased mucous production after eating certain foods. Milk products and sugar or carbohydrates are common culprits. You can try using a food diary and noting over time if there is a correlation between eating certain foods and sinus symptom and then cut down on those foods that cause increased problems (if found).

Individuals also can be more prone to bacterial infections if their blood sugar level is elevated. So, if you have not been checked for hyperglycemia or diabetes, it would be important to have evaluated. When you go in to the minute clinic or other clinic, consider going in on an empty stomach for at least 6 hours and asking for a blood sugar reading. There are other test that are more accurate, but this will still help to monitor whether or not you are metabolizing carbohydrates adequately and help you to know whether you need more thorough evaluation.

I hope that some of this information is new and will be helpful for you.
Please also reply if you have further questions.

If you have any questions whatsoever, or there is anything more that I can clarify for you, please temporarily bypass the rating system and click “Continue the Conversation” or "Reply." to submit your follow up question.


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thank you so much this is very helpful. Thank you for the links. I can really use them.
You are so welcome. Feel free to f/u with me anytime if you have any questions about any of these topics.