Navigation Links
Antibiotics Can Ease Kids' Ear Infections, Studies Show
Date:1/13/2011

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Amid the ongoing controversy over routine antibiotic use for children with acute ear infections, two new studies support the practice when stringent diagnostic criteria are met.

Researchers from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Turku in Finland found antibiotics more effective than a placebo in reducing ear infection severity and duration in toddlers. In both studies, the rate of clinical failure -- defined as persistent signs of acute infection -- was dramatically lower days later among those prescribed amoxicillin-clavulanate (Augmentin) than in children left untreated.

Acute ear infection, known medically as otitis media, is the most frequent bacterial illness diagnosed during early childhood and the most common reason antibiotics are prescribed for children in the United States, according to prior research.

"The study underscores the need to restrict antibiotic treatment to those with certain infection," said Dr. Alejandro Hoberman, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and lead author of one of the studies. "I would say the really important point to understand is that the key to optimal management of acute otitis media is an accurate diagnosis. I do hope our findings . . . will settle the topic."

Hoberman and Dr. Jerome Klein, a professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, said a rash of research in recent decades from Western Europe triggered debate over the necessity of antibiotics by suggesting they initially be withheld from children with ear infections as part of a watchful waiting strategy.

That approach, along with widespread fear over the increasing emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, has fueled the treatment controversy, they said. However, the European studies typically didn't enforce strict criteria for diagnosing ear infections, whose symptoms can resemble upper respiratory illnesses.

"What it boils down to is that a lot of uncertainty in prior investigations was because the diagnosis was not always as secure as these two papers, where they've really been very careful," said Klein, who wrote an editorial supporting the results of both studies, reported in the Jan. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"A more casual approach to treatment muddied the waters" over antibiotic use in prior studies, Klein added, noting that he didn't expect the debate to die despite the latest findings.

In the Pittsburgh study, 291 children between the ages of 6 months and 23 months old with certain ear infections -- as defined by the presence of a bulging eardrum and parental observations, among other symptoms -- were split into groups receiving antibiotics or placebos for 10 days.

Among those who received amoxicillin-clavulanate, 35 percent had initial resolution of symptoms by day two; 61 percent by day four; and 80 percent by day seven. In contrast, of those on placebo, 28 percent had initial resolution of symptoms by day two, 54 percent by day four and 74 percent by day seven.

But the rate of clinical failure for those on antibiotics after day four or five was only 4 percent, vs. 23 percent for those on placebo, the study found.

The Finnish research looked at 319 children between the ages of 6 months and 35 months for seven days, finding that treatment failure occurred by the end of the study period in 18.6 percent of children who received amoxicillin, compared to 44.9 percent of those on placebo.

More research is needed to help doctors identify the children who will benefit most from treatment, the authors said. Such studies could reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics and the potential for antibiotic resistance, they said.

"I thought [the Pittsburgh research] was a very good study," said Dr. Tumaini Coker, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Mattel Children's Hospital and the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. "I think it's very interesting and useful. But like any research study, we need further studies that reinforce those findings."

Dr. Henry Bernstein, chief of general pediatrics at the Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, agreed that the two studies will help resolve the controversy over how to treat children's ear infections.

"Most importantly, the diagnosis of acute otitis media was well-defined and meticulously made by experienced physicians at enrollment," Bernstein said.

More information

To learn more about children's ear infections, visit the American Academy of Family Physicians.

SOURCES: Alejandro Hoberman, M.D., pediatrician, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; Jerome Klein, M.D., professor, pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston; Tumaini Coker, M.D., pediatrician and assistant professor, pediatrics, Mattel Children's Hospital and David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles; Henry Bernstein, M.D., chief of general pediatrics, Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Jan. 13, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Giant Eagle Pharmacy Free Antibiotics Program Surpasses $3 Million in Free Prescriptions
2. Poll: Hypothetical anthrax attack and antibiotics
3. Chitosan as alternative to growth-promoting antibiotics for ruminants
4. Hard to Treat Diseases (HTDS) Awarded Two Antibiotics Certificates For Chile
5. ID physicians call for 10 new antibiotics by 2020
6. Misinformation About Antibiotics Can Travel to Large Audience Via Twitter: Study
7. Misinformation about antibiotics can travel to large audience via Twitter: study
8. Combination antibiotics effective against chlamydia-induced arthritis
9. Quick Use of Antibiotics Best for COPD Flare-Ups
10. FDA Urges Limiting Antibiotics in Meat
11. Drug coverage under Medicare leads to increased use of antibiotics
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Antibiotics Can Ease Kids' Ear Infections, Studies Show
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, ... Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms ... Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his ... David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps ... in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van ... Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite ... 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state ... procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle ... chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of ... Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization ... in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial (Halt ... its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial to ... 2016, and to report top line data from ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , ... Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Revolutionary technology includes multi-speaker listening to ... leaders in advanced audiology and hearing aid technology, has ... the world,s first internet connected hearing aid that opens ...      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382240 ) , ... firsts,: , TwinLink™ - the first dual ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: