Avoid Antibiotic Pills for ‘Swimmer’s Ear’

Avoid Antibiotics in Pill Form for ‘Swimmer’s Ear’

Experts Now Advise Use Antibiotics Ear Drops Only


Swimmers Ear or Otitis externa is a common and painful condition that is usually prescribed broad spectrum antibiotics. But now experts are recommending you use antibiotic drops only. The panel at the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery Foundation recommends that patients be treated with antibiotic ear drops, but only if necessary.

Swimmer’s ear or Otitis externa “may cause intense pain. Ear drops offer prompt relief, but about one-third of cases are treated with oral antibiotics, which are ineffective and promote resistant bacteria,” Dr. Richard Rosenfeld.

“The updated guideline expands upon prior guidance with new clinical trials, new systematic reviews and consumer participation, intended to optimize the diagnosis and treatment of this common disorder,” Rosenfeld said.

The panel also concluded that antibiotic ear drops should be used when the eardrum is perforated or the status of the eardrum is unknown. Currently, the topical antibiotic Floxin? Otic (ofloxacin otic solution) 0.3%, marketed and distributed by Daiichi Pharmaceutical Corp., is the only ear drop approved by the FDA for use in certain conditions where the middle ear is exposed.

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