Why are antibiotics the initial therapy for treatment of acute otitis media (AOM)?

Updated: Sep 25, 2019
  • Author: John D Donaldson, MD, FRCSC, FACS; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Despite the advocates of watchful waiting, the overwhelming consensus is still that antibiotics are the initial therapy of choice for AOM, for 3 valid reasons:

  • After the institution of antibiotic therapy, a marked decline in the suppurative complications of AOM is noted

  • Practitioners cannot predict with certainty which patients will develop complications

  • Studies have demonstrated that the use of antibiotics improves patient outcomes in both early and late phases of AOM


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