Acute Otitis Media and Antibiotic Use

Physicians often see young children with acute otitis media (middle ear inflammation) and frequently prescribe an antibiotic, even it is  uncomplicated. A new randomized, double-blind study conducted in the Netherlands compared the outcomes of children who received amoxicillin with those who received a placebo. The children who received the antibiotic had 2.5 times the risk for a recurrent infection compared to those who did not. Apparently, when not needed, this practice raises the risk of colonization with resistant pathogens and recurrent infections.

PositiveTip: Don’t ask your doctor to prescribe an antibiotic unless he thinks it’s really necessary. A “wait and see” prescription may be the best.