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Antibiotics for otitis media halves mastoiditis risk

Treating children with otitis media with antibiotics halves the risk of a subsequent diagnosis of mastoiditis in the following three months, an analysis of UK data concludes.

A team from the School of Pharmacy analysed records of 2.6 million children compiled through the UK general practice research database.

The risk of mastoiditis in the three months after antibiotic treatment for otitis media was 1.8 per 10,000 episodes, compared with 3.8 per 10,000 episodes in children treated without antibiotics. But the number needed to treat to prevent one case was very high, at 4,381.

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