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Laryngoscope. 2003 Dec;113(12):2116-22.

Topical ciprofloxacin/dexamethasone is superior to ciprofloxacin alone in pediatric patients with acute otitis media and otorrhea through tympanostomy tubes.

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Department of Otolaryngology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-9035, USA.



To determine whether topical administration of a corticosteroid improves resolution of acute tympanostomy tube otorrhea when combined with topical antibiotic drops.


Randomized, patient-masked, parallel-group, multicenter trial of topical otic ciprofloxacin/dexamethasone versus topical ciprofloxacin alone in 201 children aged 6 months to 12 years with acute otitis media with tympanostomy tubes (AOMT) of less than or equal to 3 weeks' duration and visible otorrhea.


Eligible patients were randomized to receive three drops of either ciprofloxacin 0.3%/dexamethasone 0.1% or ciprofloxacin 0.3% into the affected ear or ears twice daily for 7 days. Clinical signs and symptoms of AOMT were evaluated on days 1 (baseline), 3, 8 (end-of-therapy), and 14 (test-of-cure), and twice-daily assessments of otorrhea were recorded in patient diaries.


The mean time to cessation of otorrhea in the microbiologically culture-positive patient population (n = 167) was significantly shorter with topical ciprofloxacin/dexamethasone than with ciprofloxacin alone (4.22 vs. 5.31 days; P =.004). This resulted in significantly better clinical responses on days 3 and 8 (P <.0001 and P =.0499, respectively). However, there were no significant differences between the two treatment groups in either the clinical response or the microbial eradication rate by day 14.


Topical otic treatment with ciprofloxacin/dexamethasone is superior to treatment with ciprofloxacin alone and results in a faster clinical resolution in children with AOMT. The contribution of the corticosteroid in achieving a 20% reduction (1.1 day) in time to cessation of otorrhea is clinically meaningful and represents an important advance over single-agent antibiotic therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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