Is antibiotic prophylaxis effective for recurrent acute otitis media?
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For children who have recurrent episodes of clinically diagnosed acute otitis media (AOM), antibiotic prophylaxis significantly reduces recurrence, although the effect is not large (strength of recommendation: A-, based on 1 systematic review of randomized controlled trials [RCTs] with below-average quality and 1 subsequent RCT with conflicting results). Evidence is insufficient to suggest which antibiotic is most appropriate, the optimal length of prophylaxis, or the number of episodes of AOM needed to justify prophylactic treatment. Possible harms of antibiotics include vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and infection with antibiotic-resistant organisms.
Journal of Family Practice, 53(12) 2004: 999-1001.