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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1996 Feb;15(2):157-64.

Effectiveness of five days of therapy with cefuroxime axetil suspension for treatment of acute otitis media.

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  • 1University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, USA.



In recent years there has been considerable interest in reducing the duration of antibiotic treatment regimens in patients with common bacterial infections. We conducted two independent, investigator-blinded, multicenter, randomized clinical trials, one of which included microbiologic evaluation of middle ear fluid obtained by tympanocentesis, comparing the efficacy and safety of 5 or 10 days of treatment with cefuroxime axetil suspension (CAE) with that of 10 days of treatment with amoxicillin/clavulanate suspension (AMX/CL) in children with acute otitis media.


A total of 719 pediatric patients from the ages of 3 months to 12 years were enrolled in the 2 studies. Patients received CAE for either 5 or 10 days at 30 mg/kg/day in 2 divided doses (n = 242 and 235, respectively) or AMX/CL for 10 days at 40 mg/kg/day in 3 divided doses (n = 242). Patients in the CAE (5 days) group received placebo on Days 6 through 10. In the study that included tympanocentesis, bacteriologic assessments were based on middle ear fluid cultures obtained pretreatment and, when possible, after treatment in patients with an unsatisfactory clinical outcome.


Organisms were isolated from the pretreatment middle ear fluid specimens of 177 of 244 (73%) patients undergoing tympanocentesis, with the primary pathogens being Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis (37, 35 and 12% of isolates, respectively). Pathogens were eradicated or presumed to be eradicated in 92% (24 of 26), 84% (32 of 38) and 95% (36 of 38) of bacteriologically evaluable patients treated with CAE for 5 or 10 days or with AMX/CL, respectively. A satisfactory clinical outcome (cure or improvement) occurred in 69% (101 of 147), 70% (121 of 173) and 74% (131 of 177) of clinically evaluable patients treated with CAE (5 days), CAE (10 days) or AMX/CL, respectively. Treatment with AMX/CL was associated with a significantly higher incidence of drug-related adverse events than was treatment with CAE for either 5 or 10 days (P < 0.001), primarily reflecting a higher incidence of drug-related gastrointestinal adverse events (34% vs. 17 and 12%, respectively; P < 0.001), particularly diarrhea.


Treatment with CAE given twice daily for 5 days is equivalent to treatment for 10 days either with the same regimen of CAE or with AMX/CL given three times daily in pediatric patients with acute otitis media.

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