Antibiotics have saved many lives, but the spread of antibiotics has also destroyed countless families. It’s hard to agree on how much is appropriate. Some can only be treated with antibiotics, some can use alternative drugs. The use of antibiotics has always been controversial.

According to a recent study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of medicine, when antibiotics are used to treat children with otitis media aged 9 to 23 months, a shorter course of treatment will affect the clinical effect, and will not reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance and other adverse reactions.

Is it right to shorten the treatment period

Acute otitis media is a kind of infection caused by pathogenic bacteria, which is especially common in infants, and is also the most common reason for infants to contact antibiotics. Because of the public’s concern about overuse of antibiotics and the resulting resistance, the University of Pittsburgh School of medicine and the children’s Hospital of the medical center jointly conducted an experiment to explore the impact of reducing the use cycle of antibiotics on the treatment effect, and whether it will reduce the risk of drug resistance and adverse reactions.


In the trial, 520 infants with acute otitis media were randomly assigned to two treatment options. One is the standard 10-day course of treatment with amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium, and the other is 5-day course of treatment with anti infective drugs and 5-day placebo. Neither the physicians nor the patients involved in the trial knew about the specific grouping.

One year’s follow-up results showed that the failure rate of 5-day antibiotic regimen was 34%, more than twice that of 10-day antibiotic regimen, and the failure rate of the latter was only 16%. In addition, the test results showed that the 5-day antibiotic treatment did not reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance in children, nor the risk of adverse reactions such as diarrhea and urinary rash.


Therefore, the independent safety supervision committee, which is responsible for monitoring the trial, believes that the results of the trial have shown that the 10-day antibiotic treatment plan is significantly better than the 5-day treatment plan.

The study also found for the first time that children with acute otitis media with residual pus after treatment were 50% more likely to be reinfected than those without residual pus

For the use of antibiotics, we can use as little as possible. But not necessarily can not be used, the premise of doctors is to ensure the treatment effect of patients. If it can’t be treated, it’s necessary to distinguish whether to use antibiotics.

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Link:How to treat acute otitis media

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