Pharmacotherapy of otitis media.Pharmacotherapy. 1991; 11(3):212-21.P
The clinical manifestations of acute otitis media and otitis media with effusion are the result of abnormal eustachian tube function most often caused by inflammation from infection or allergy. The majority of cases involve bacterial infection of the middle ear caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, or Branhamella catarrhalis. Nearly half of all children will have had at least one episode of acute otitis media by 1 year of age, and over 70% by 3 years of age. The signs and symptoms include pain with rubbing or tugging at the ear, fever, irritability, lethargy, and hearing loss. The primary therapy for acute otitis media and otitis media with effusion is antibiotics with the goal of preventing possible complications and providing symptomatic relief. Amoxicillin remains the initial drug of choice in communities where beta-lactamase-producing strains of the common middle ear pathogens are infrequently isolated. If resistant organisms are prevalent, cefaclor, amoxicillin-clavulanate, or cotrimoxazole should be selected. Adjuvant agents such as decongestants have not been shown to provide additional therapeutic benefit. Children who develop chronic otitis media may require prophylactic antibiotic therapy and insertion of typanostomy tubes.