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J Otolaryngol. 1997 Jun;26(3):194-6.

Safety of topical ear drops containing ototoxic antibiotics.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Central Emek Hospital, Afula, Israel.



Topical application of ear drops containing ototoxic antibiotics is commonly used for treatment of middle ear diseases. Because of their ototoxic potential, we evaluated the safety of these ear drops in clinical use.


The study included 446 children who underwent myringotomy and the insertion of tympanostomy tubes. Three hundred and fifty-eight received preventive treatment after the operation with polymyxin B-neomycin-dexamethasone ear drops for 2 weeks; 88 did not receive any ear drops. Audiometric tests were performed before the operation and up to 3 months following it.


All 446 children had a normal sensorineural hearing threshold before and after the operation. There was no sensorineural hearing loss in the group that was treated with ear drops.


Our experience leads us to believe that topical ear drops containing ototoxic antibiotics are clinically safe to use for a short period of time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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