Study aims reduce the use of oral antibiotics for ear infections in children

Investigating alternative treatments while relieving painful symptoms and reducing healthcare costs.

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A middle ear infection, also called otitis media, occurs when a virus or bacteria cause the area behind the eardrum to become inflamed. The condition is most common in children. Most middle ear infections occur during the winter and early spring. Often, middle ear infections are treated with antibiotics by mouth.

Researchers from the Universities of Bristol, Southampton, King’s College London, and Imperial College London, are collaborating on a new study to investigate alternative treatments, which they hope will reduce unnecessary oral antibiotic use while relieving painful symptoms and reducing healthcare costs.

The group will think about three elective treatment choices: quick antibiotics by mouth, prompt antibiotic eardrops, which have recently appeared to be viable in kids with grommets, and ‘deferred’ oral antibiotics, where guardians are encouraged to hold up to check whether the tyke’s disease enhances without anti-infection agents. Concentrates in different diseases propose that deferred anti-infection agents by mouth can be similarly as powerful and sheltered as prompt immediate antibiotics.

Professor Alastair Hay, a GP and infections research lead at the University of Bristol’s Centre for Academic Primary Care, said: “Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health today. A growing number of potentially life-threatening infections, such as pneumonia and septicaemia, are becoming harder to treat because bacteria are becoming resistant to the antibiotics that we commonly prescribe.

“Our research aims to explore alternatives for common childhood infections, such as AOMd. We have already had success demonstrating alternative treatment options for urinary tract infections in children and we hope to be able to do the same for this distressing, painful and common condition.”