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Home Wellness Research Antibiotic Use Avoiding Antibiotics for Acute Otitis Media Reduces Community Load

Avoiding Antibiotics for Acute Otitis Media Reduces Community Load

Wednesday, 22 October 2008 15:35

The routine prescription of antibiotics for acute otitis media continues to be questioned.  In a recent report in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Dr. Christopher Cates reports what happened in his practice one year after he and his partners decided not to prescribe antibiotics for children with an ear infection who were not systemi­cally ill.  Instead, they gave the parents a detailed handout and a deferred prescription.  Before the change, acute otitis media ac­counted for more than half of all their antibiotic prescriptions for children; afterwards it accounted for a third and their total antibiotic use for all childhood infections was reduced by a fifth.  Most parents welcomed the handout, and deferred prescriptions were often not redeemed.  The authors concluded "This approach may be useful in reducing the antibiotic load of children and in dealing with antimicro­bial resistance."

Cates C. //  An evidence based approach to reducing antibiotic use in children with acute otitis media: controlled before and after study  // BMJ 1999 (Mar 13); 318 (7185):715-716