Short-course antibiotics for acute otitis media

Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, 8226a Aberhart Centre, 11402 University Ave, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2J3.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 6.03). 09/2010; DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001095.pub2
Source: PubMed


Acute otitis media (AOM), or middle ear infection, is a common childhood illness, with more than half of all children having at least one infection by the time they are seven. Although otitis media often resolves without treatment, it is frequently treated with antibiotics. The length of treatment varies widely. This review of 49 trials found that treating children with a short course (less than seven days) of antibiotics, compared to treatment with a long course (seven days or greater) of antibiotics, increases the likelihood of treatment failure in the short term. No differences are seen one month later. The amount of gastrointestinal adverse events decreased with a shorter course of antibiotics.

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