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Research Article

Ear Infections and Antibiotics

This is a quote directly from an article published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Practice in November 2001.

“Recent evidence has thrown into question the use of antibiotics and the length of treatment, if prescribed. The growing worldwide development of multidrug-resistant bacteria, the uncertainty of diagnosis, and that up to one third of cases of AOM are viral in origin have made popular a wait-and-see approach to the initial prescription of antibiotics, especially in many European countries.

In several randomised clinical trials, antibiotics provided only a small benefit.  In a meta-analysis of more than 2000 children with acute otitis media (AOM), ear pain resolved spontaneously without antibiotics in 66% by 24 hours and in 80% by day 7.

  

 J Am Board Fam Pract 2001 (Nov);   14 (6):   474-476

    Further evidence that antibiotics should not be the first approach for children with ear infections. 

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