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Otology Antibiotics Overview

Otitis externa

Infection of the soft tissue of external ear canal which can be bacterial or fungal. Oral antibiotics are rarely needed as they have poor penetration. Topical antibiotics more suited unless systemic illness.


Otitis media

Bacterial infection of the middle ear. An oral antibiotic may be used (ABMU guidelines state if no improvement after 72 hours of no treatment). Some evidence of antibiotic resistance developing. 


Otitis media with perforated tympanic membrane

Consider antibiotic ear drops with/without steroid, sometimes in combination with oral.

Written in association with Helena Dunne

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