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Antibiotics Effective Against Middle Ear Infection

Two studies revealed that antibiotics are effective against middle ear infection. Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, both studies aimed to debunk certain guidelines that stated otherwise. At the very least, these studies opposed the recommendation of the American Academy of Family Physicians that doctors adopt a watchful-waiting approach.


Boston University School of Medicine’s Dr. Jerome O. Klein says, “More young children with a certain diagnosis of [middle ear infection] recover more quickly when they are treated with an appropriate antimicrobial agent.” He added that the recent findings resolved the matter regarding antibiotics as the best option for middle ear infection.


The first of two studies, led by Dr. Alejandro Hoberman, took in almost 300 toddlers with middle ear infection and dividing them into two groups – one group was given dummy pills while the other was treated with an antibiotic.


After 10 to 12 days of medication, the researchers found out that those on dummy pills were still suffering from infection while 84 percent of those on antibiotics had become better.


“The results were even more impressive than what we anticipated,” Dr. Hoberman exclaimed.


The second study, on the other hand, involved 319 babies who had middle ear infection and pain. After testing these kids on a seven-day medication period, 45 percent of those on dummy pills were still sick. Only one in five kids on antibiotics still had the infection.


The second study’s coauthor Dr. Aino Ruohola said, “Most of the patients who needed rescue treatment had received placebo.” But with antibiotics, it effectively shortened periods of poor appetite, irritability and fever.





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