Shorter treatment isn’t better for infant with ear infections: study

Shorter treatment isn’t better for infant with ear infections: study

Shorter antibiotic treatment for infants with ear infections isn't better than standard-duration treatment, a new study by American researchers suggested.

Lead by Dr. Alejandro Hoberman, chief of the division of general pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, researchers assigned 520 children with acute otitis media to two groups, with children in one group receiving the standard 10-day course of amoxicillin-clavulanate and the second group receiving a 5-day course followed by a 5-day course of placebo.

During the phase of the treatment, they assessed the kids through phone conversations. Their parents were also asked to rate their kids' scores on the Acute Otitis Media-Severity of Symptoms (AOM-SOS) scale, consisted of discrete items like tugging of ears, crying, fever, irritability, difficulty sleeping and diminished activity.

Overall, they found that the risk of treatment failure among those who received 5-day treatment was more than twice (34%) than those who received 10-day regimen of antibiotics (16%).

They concluded that shorter antibiotic treatment for infants with ear infections results in worse outcomes than the standard-duration treatment. Moreover, the shorter antibiotic treatment doesn't reduce their levels of antibiotic resistance.

Sharing their conclusion, Dr. Hoberman said, "The results of this study clearly show that for treating ear infections in children between 9 and 23 months of age, a 5-day course of antibiotic offers no benefit in terms of adverse events or antibiotic resistance."

The researchers reported their findings in the most recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.


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