Trial of two prescribing strategies for childhood acute otitis media
This study evaluates the “wait and see” attitude with childhood ear infections vs immediate antibiotic usage. This is really a neat article illuminating several points. First, it once again notes that antibiotics are NOT painkillers!! Antibiotics were not any more effective than placebo at reducing pain in the first 24 hours. After 24 hours they were more effective, but pain was also less severe after 24 hours anyway. 77% of the parents in the wait and see group were “very satisfied” and were less likely to believe in the effectiveness of antibiotics and in the need to see the doctor with future episodes. So, not only does using a “wait and see” approach produces similar results, but the parents seem to have a more realistic view in the effectiveness of medicine.
bmj.com Abstracts: Little et al. 322 (7282): 336