ICPA Family Wellness First - 026 - Antibiotic Abuse-again
Ear Infections: watch and wait works best.
Once again another study shows that most ear infections disappear on their own if left untreated with antibiotics. It was just published in Sept. 13 issue of JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association. The American Academy of Pediatrics says 80% of children whose ear infections are not treated immediately with antibiotics get better on their own..
For numerous years, the negative effects of antibiotics and the treatment of ear infections with them has been published in peer reviewed journals, yet prescribing antibiotics has continued. Doctors have insisted that parental pressure to give antibiotics is the primary reason why this unnecessary prescribing has continued. A recent article from Web MD is titled: Cutting Antibiotics for Ear Infections: Most Disappear on Their Own if Parents Can Wait, Study Shows. http://www.webmd.com/content/article/127/116676.htm
The title of the article is almost amusing, as it tends to put the blame of antibiotic abuse in the hands of the parents as opposed to the pharmaceutical and allopathic industry. In 2004, the AAP finally gave its stamp of approval to the watch-and-wait strategy, telling physicians it was OK to delay antibiotics in children over age 2 for 48 to 72 hours. They suggested the use of pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Let’s remember that the use of ibeprophen or acetaminophen have their share of side effects as well and there are natural means of pain relief for children’s ear infections. In 2001, a study showed an ear drop formulation of naturopathic origin, was as effective as Anaesthetic ear drops and was proven appropriate for the management of AOM-associated ear pain. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11434846&dopt=Abstract
Health food stores around the country offer various similar brands to choose from.
The Web MD article further emphasizes that the solution to over utilization is parental education. Doctors of chiropractic have been offering their patients the resources to make informed health care choices for many years now. Citing study after study, we have always encouraged parents to look at the facts at hand and choose from the facts, not the outdated practices. The ICPA web site has compiled the results of these studies: http://www.icpa4kids.org/research/children/antibiotics.htm. Additionally, this link addresses the issue of ear infections offering links for natural management: http://www.icpa4kids.org/research/children/earinfections.htm
To find a doctor of chiropractic in your area who supports your right to choose health care for your families, visit: http://www.icpa4kids.org/find.htm.
Our current issue of Pathways: Issue #11 (Fall 2006) has a great article on herbal antibiotic alternatives. Because herbs are a food, not a drug, they support your child's natural healing process rather than creating the negative side effects of drugs.
To subscribe to Pathways visit this link: http://www.icpa4kids.org/research/participate.htm
Jeanne Ohm DC
ICPA, Executive Coordinator
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To find a doctor of chiropractic in your area who works with children visit: http://www.icpa4kids.org/find.htm