Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(4):CD000219.

Antibiotics for acute otitis media in children.

Author information

1
Associate Professior in Clinical Epidemiology, Dept of Social & Preventive Medicine, Medical School, Herston QLD 4006, Australia, 4006. P.Glasziou@spmed.uq.edu.au

Update in

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Acute otitis media is one of the most common diseases in early infancy and childhood. Antibiotic use for acute otitis media varies from 31% in the Netherlands to 98% in the USA and Australia.

OBJECTIVES:

The objective of this review was to assess the effects of antibiotics for children with acute otitis media.

SEARCH STRATEGY:

We searched the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, MEDLINE, Index Medicus (pre 1965), Current Contents and reference lists of articles from 1958 to January 2000.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Randomised trials comparing antimicrobial drugs with placebo in children with acute otitis media.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Three reviewers independently assessed trial quality and extracted data.

MAIN RESULTS:

Ten trials were eligible but only seven trials, with a total of 2,202 children, included patient-relevant outcomes. The methodological quality of the included trials was generally high. All trials were from developed countries. The trials showed no reduction in pain at 24 hours, but a 28% relative reduction (95% confidence interval 15% to 38%) in pain at two to seven days. Since approximately 80% of patients will have settled spontaneously in this time, this means an absolute reduction of 5% or that about 17 children must be treated with antibiotics to prevent one child having some pain after two days. There was no effect of antibiotics on hearing problems of acute otitis media, as measured by subsequent tympanometry. However, audiometry was done in only two studies and incompletely reported. Nor did antibiotics influence other complications or recurrence. There were few serious complications seen in these trials: only one case of mastoiditis occurred in a penicillin treated group.

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS:

Antibiotics provide a small benefit for acute otitis media in children. As most cases will resolve spontaneously, this benefit must be weighed against the possible adverse reactions. Antibiotic treatment may play an important role in reducing the risk of mastoiditis in populations where it is more common. [This abstract has been prepared centrally.]

Update of

PMID:
11034677
DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD000219
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center