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Local anesthesia may reduce the need for antibiotics for acute otitis media

Baltimore scientists believe that the use of a local anesthetic in acute otitis media to relieve pain in children may reduce the need for oral antibiotics.

Often, antibiotics are prescribed at the urgent request of parents who wish to alleviate the suffering of the child. Scientists wanted to know if simpler measures could reduce pain and conducted a comparative study of aururalgan (Auralgan), a local anesthetic containing benzocaine and glycerin and amoxicillin.

The study included 88 children with acute otitis media aged 2 to 18 years. The results of the treatment were evaluated on days 3 and 7. Both in the case of the use of auralgan and when taking amoxicillin, a reduction in pain was noted, although in the group of children receiving antibiotics had less pain. The differences in pain severity were statistically significant during the first 48 hours.

In only 4 cases did treatment with auralgan fail. In the group of children receiving antibiotics, there were 2 failures. These differences are not clinically significant. A small number of complications occurred in both groups. Parents were satisfied with both treatment regimens. Thus, in 89% of children receiving auralgan, clinical improvement was observed and the need for antibiotics disappeared.

According to the researchers, this approach will make it possible to avoid a large number of antibiotic prescriptions in the future. Management expected for 48 hours is applicable to many of these patients and is approved by most parents.