Q. Why is Z-pak not helping my sinus infection?

Answered by
Dr. Salah Saad Shoman
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 27, 2018 and last reviewed on: Sep 12, 2020

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

The symptoms you are experiencing can be due to any of the following.

  • Superadded bacterial infection that will require again an antibiotic, which is better to do a culture of the mucus to detect which antibiotic is suitable.
  • The ongoing viral infection, which is usually self-limited and do not require an antiviral medication.
  • An allergic element, which usually affects the sinuses, leading to sinusitis. So, you may benefit from an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Diphenhydramine and a decongestant nasal spray as Phenylephrine or Oxymetazoline.
  • You will need symptomatic treatment for your symptoms such as for cough you need a cough suppressant and expectorant. If you feel fatigue and body pain, then I suggest Ibuprofen tablets every 8 hours. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her and take the medicine with consent.

For further information consult an internal medicine physician online -->

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