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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2000 May;19(5):458-63.

Five vs. ten days of antibiotic therapy for acute otitis media in young children.

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Department of Microbiology and Pediatrics, Intercommunal Hospital of Créteil, France.



Many publications in recent years have argued in favor of shortened therapy for acute otitis media. However, doubt persists regarding children younger than 2 years, and some authors therefore restrict short course therapy to children older than 2 years.


In a prospective, comparative, double blind, randomized, multicenter trial we compared cefpodoxime-proxetil, 8 mg/kg/day in two divided doses for 10 days, with an identical 5-day regimen followed by a 5-day placebo period.


Between October, 1996, and April, 1997, 450 children (mean age, 14.3 months) were enrolled, 227 in the 5-day group and 223 in the 10-day group. In the per protocol analysis clinical success was obtained on Days 12 to 14 after the beginning of treatment (main analysis) in 175 (84.1%) of the 208 children receiving the 5-day regimen and 194 (92.4%) of the 210 children receiving the 10-day regimen (P = 0.009). The superiority of the standard regimen was more marked among children cared for outside their homes (92.5% vs. 81.5%). Clinical success persisted on Days 28 to 42 among 134 (85.4%) of the 157 assessable patients in the 5-day group and 144 (83.7%) of the 172 assessable patients in the 10-day group (P = 0.68).


The 10-day regimen resulted in a higher success rate at the conclusion of therapy, but there were no differences between the two study groups 4 to 6 weeks after enrollment in the study protocol.

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