A study on the efficacy of prophylactic antibiotics in recurrent acute otitis media


  • Lakshmi Vijayakumar Department of ENT, Government TD Medical College, Vandanam, Alappuzha, Kerala, India
  • T. Santhi Department of ENT, Government TD Medical College, Vandanam, Alappuzha, Kerala, India




Recurrent otitis media, Prophylaxis, Antibiotics, Vaccines


Background: To study the efficacy of broad spectrum antibiotics in the prophylaxis of recurrent acute otitis media.

Methods: 86 patients of age group between 2 and 15 years with history of recurrent otitis media were enrolled to study the efficacy of the prophylactic antibiotics used in this condition. The children were treated with amoxicillin or azithromycin during the acute episode. Then they were divided equally into two groups and assigned to receive amoxicillin in one group and azithromycin in the other group at one third the therapeutic dose as prophylaxis for 6 months. The children were evaluated at the end of every month and recurrent episodes if any, was documented.  

Results: At the end of 6 months it was observed that prophylactic antibiotics were more effective in the younger age group of 2-7 years. Efficacy rates of 87.5% with azithromycin and 77.4% with amoxicillin were noted.

Conclusions: As azithromycin is given once a week compared to amoxicillin which is given daily and was found to be equally effective as a prophylactic drug in recurrent acute otitis media with a better compliance, it is a good alternative to amoxicillin as a prophylactic antibiotic.  Proper dosage goes a long way in bringing down resistance to the therapeutic agents.


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