Acute otitis media: to follow-up or treat?Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2010; 74(8):930-3IJ
Acute otitis media (AOM) is the most common diagnosis for which antibiotics are prescribed in children. However, due to their widespread use, we are witnesses to increased development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the necessity of antibiotic treatment in patients with AOM. Our study included 314 children, aged between 2 months and 6 years. Children were divided into two groups: the first group included children with less severe forms of AOM, who received symptomatic therapy and "wait-and-see" approach (237 children); the second group presented with purulent ear infection and received antibiotic treatment from the beginning (77 children). After symptomatic therapy, resolution of the disease, without use of any antibiotics, was established in 61% of patients, compared to the overall sample of children with AOM. None of the children developed complications that would require surgical treatment. In the second group of children, receiving antibiotics, almost the same therapeutic effects (80%) were achieved with the use of amoxicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanate and cefixime, while the worst results were obtained after using azithromycin. The wait-and-see approach is recommended in forms of AOM without serious signs and symptoms, because it significantly reduces the use of antibiotics and their potential adverse effects.