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Home Wellness Research Antibiotic Use Antibiotics Not Necessary for Most Ear Infections

Antibiotics Not Necessary for Most Ear Infections

Wednesday, 22 October 2008 15:33

Researchers in the Netherlands report that children should not be given antibiotics when they initially present with ear infections. The study looked at 240 children, aged 6 months to 2 years, with acute otitis media. The children were prescribed either placebo or 40 mg/kg per day of amoxicillin. Youngsters who took amoxicillin were 13% less likely to exhibit persistent symptoms at day 4 - and were less likely to take pain medication - compared with children who were given placebo. However, there was no significant difference between the two groups in otoscopic findings, pain duration, or crying. In addition, tympanometric findings in both groups were similar at 6-week follow-up.  The study's authors concluded that, "This modest effect does not justify prescription of antibiotics at the first visit, provided close surveillance can be guaranteed."

Damoiseaux RAMJ, van Balen FAM, Hoes AW, Verheij TJM, de Melker RA //  Primary care based randomised, double blind trial of amoxicillin versus placebo for acute otitis media in children aged under 2 years //  BMJ 2000 (Feb 5);   320 (7231):350-354