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Fluid in the ear

In youngsters with ear infections, might an antibiotic keep fluid from developing in the inner ear ?

A study analyzed data from five studies involving 1,328 children, six months to 12 years old, who had middle ear infections ( otitis media ) and had been randomly assigned to take an antibiotic ( usually amoxicillion ) or a placebo for seven or 10 days.

A month later, roughly half the children in each group had fluid in their ears. In both groups, children most likely to have fluid were age two and younger and had had previous recurrent ear infections.

Who may be affected ? Children 12 and younger. In this age group, ear infections are the second-most common ailment after colds. Ear infections occur when virus of bacteria cause fluid and mucous to clog the ear tubes. Chronic infections can lead to hearing problems.

Caveats : The authors suggested that antibiotics taken for a longer period might be more effective but would run counter to prescription guidelines and could lead to antibiotic resistance.

     
     

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