How effective are systemic antibiotics in the treatment of tympanic membrane perforation (TMP)?

Updated: Dec 14, 2020
  • Author: Robert A Saadi, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Systemic antibiotics are occasionally used when controlling otorrhea from a TMP. Antibiotics (eg, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, amoxicillin) directed at typical respiratory flora suffice in most cases. Overgrowth with Pseudomonas aeruginosa or resistant Staphylococcus aureus may occur. Failure of drainage to clear after several days' therapy may require alteration of therapy following culture and sensitivity tests. A tendency of the ear canal to pseudomonad overgrowth indicates that the most accurate testing can be obtained by suctioning a culture specimen (under microscopic control) directly from the middle ear through the perforation.

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