Go Ad-Free
logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine

Advice Changes on Treating Ear Infections

Antibiotics help children with ear infections recover more quickly. Over the last decade or so there has been a movement to delay antibiotic treatment of otitis media, the medical name for middle ear infections. A watch and wait philosophy has been promoted to reduce antibiotic overuse. But two current studies in The New England Journal of Medicine suggest that antibiotic treatment is better than placebo for a majority of youngsters with ear infections. One study was conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, while the other was done in Turku, Finland. Both studies randomly assigned children to receive Augmentin or placebo and both found that the antibiotic resulted in significantly fewer treatment failures. The antibiotic treatment was associated with many more cases of diarrhea and diaper rash, however. An accompanying editorial answers the question: Is middle ear infection treatable? The editorialist’s answer is a definitive yes.

[New England Journal of Medicine, Jan. 13, 2010]

Rate this article
5- 2 ratings
About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
Tired of the ads on our website?

Now you can browse our website completely ad-free for just $5 / month. Stay up to date on breaking health news and support our work without the distraction of advertisements.

Browse our website ad-free
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.