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Pediatr Ann. 1991 Nov;20(11):600-1, 603-8.

Antibiotic treatment failures in acute otitis media.

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Creighton University Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, Omaha, Nebraska.


When the clinician is presented with apparent treatment failure, noncompliance must be considered first. If this is the problem, the medication should be reinstituted after the parents are counseled. Next, the possibility of a superimposed viral illness also must be considered. When satisfied that these are not the problems, the clinician must consider whether the MEE has created so much positive pressure that antimicrobials cannot completely penetrate the middle ear space. If positive pressure is considered the problem, the same or another antimicrobial should be continued for a second 10-day course, allowing the pressure to decrease with time permitting more complete antibiotic penetration into the MEE. Alternately, clinicians with appropriate training may elect to relieve the pressure by tympanocentesis or myringotomy. If the clinician decides that it is more likely that the patient has a pathogen resistant to the initial choice of an antimicrobial agent, a second course of a more potent second-line antimicrobial is appropriate. Patients who fail a second course of antimicrobials should receive an alternate second-line antimicrobial or undergo drainage of the middle ear abscess. Those who fail a third course of antimicrobials should be referred to an otolaryngologist for evaluation or surgical intervention. Antimicrobials should be continued until the consultation occurs. This article has outlined potential clinical presentations for treatment failures as well as choices for second-line antibiotics. The relation of anatomic, environmental, microbial, and antimicrobial factors in persistent AOM must be considered in order to determine if the clinician should do more than merely prescribe second-line antibiotics.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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