Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Antibiotics work for acute otitis media

By Christian Duffin

Antibiotics are effective in babies and very young children with acute otitis media infection, two separate groups of researchers have shown.

A US team conducted a randomised double-blind trial in 291 children. Of those who received antibiotics, 35% had initial resolution of symptoms by day two, 61% had it by day four and 80% by day seven, compared with 28%, 54% and 74% respectively in the placebo group. Diarrhoea and dermatitis were more common among children who received the antibiotic.

In a second study, a team from Finland found that in 319 children aged six to 35 months with acute otitis media treated with either amoxicillin treatment or placebo, treatment failure occurred in only 18.6% of children taking antibiotics, compared to 44.9% on the placebo. About half in the antibiotic group had diarrhoea, nearly double the proportion in the placebo group.

Dr Paula Tähtinen, a researcher the department of paediatrics at Turku University Hospital in Finland said: ‘Children with acute otitis media benefit from antimicrobial treatment, although they have more side-effects.'

N Engl J Med 2011;364:105-15 and 116-26

CPD

Click here for our CPD update on ENT problems

Antibiotics work for actute otitis media

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say