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Why is Z-pak not helping my sinus infection?

Why is Z-pak not helping my sinus infection?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At June 27, 2018
Reviewed AtAugust 18, 2023

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I am a 41 year old female. I have been sick for almost a month now. I went to my doctor and he gave me Z-pak antibiotic for sinus infection. Normally, Z-pak makes me feel 100% better in a day or two after taking them. Instead of feeling better, I felt worse. I have completed all the Z-pak and still no improvement. All eight days of taking the antibiotic, I was coughing up thick green mucus, thick green mucus when blowing my nose and feeling extremely bad with no energy. I went to the ER and a chest x-ray and blood work were ordered. I was given a bag of IV fluids as well. The doctor said I have an upper respiratory infection (viral) and malaise. I was told to take rest, drink lots of fluids and get a decongestant and that is exactly what I did. Now, almost a month gone by and I still do not feel better at all. Does an upper respiratory infection supposed to last this long?


Welcome to icliniq.com. The symptoms you're presently encountering could potentially stem from various factors. These include the possibility of an additional bacterial infection, which might necessitate antibiotic treatment; performing a mucus culture could help identify the appropriate antibiotic. Alternatively, your symptoms might be linked to an ongoing viral infection, often self-limiting and not requiring antiviral medications. Another consideration is an allergic component, commonly affecting the sinuses and leading to sinusitis. In this case, over-the-counter options like Diphenhydramine for antihistamine relief and Phenylephrine or Oxymetazoline for decongestion might be beneficial. To address your specific symptoms, such as coughing, a combination of a cough suppressant and expectorant could be helpful. If fatigue and body pain are prevalent, Ibuprofen tablets taken every 8 hours could be considered. I recommend consulting a specialist, engaging in a discussion, and seeking their consent before initiating any medication.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Salah Saad Hassan Shoman
Dr. Salah Saad Hassan Shoman

Internal Medicine

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