Ear Infection: Handy Medication Guide

Antibiotics are employed in the treatment of ear infection among children; though in majority of them ear infections subside without the need of administering them. One might not require antibiotics in case home tending seems to be providing relief from the pain, and the symptoms are lessening in intensity after some days.

Several doctors in the United States prescribe antibiotics to treat middle ear infections for infants that are below two years of age as these young age bracket children are at a heightened risk of developing complications.

In infants that are two years and above, several doctors follow the wait-and-watch policy for some days to observe whether the status of the infection is improving or not. In case antibiotics are prescribed, they mostly comprise of amoxicillin (Amoxil) as they have proven efficacy and is cheaper in comparison to other locally available brands.

Ear InfectionExperts advocate that children undergo the hearing test in case they have fluid accumulation behind the eardrums for more than three months. Having normal hearing is crucial in the initial two years when the process of learning to speak is on-going. The doctor might suggest antibiotics for clearing the fluid build-up. The doctor would also advice to place tubes in the ear for facilitating fluid drainage and improving hearing.

Other forms of medications for treating symptoms of ear infections comprise of:

  • Acetaminophen (for instance, Tylenol) and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines) like Advil, Motrin and Aleve for relieving pain and fever. It is strongly advised not to give aspirin for those who are less than twenty years of age as it has been strongly linked to Reye syndrome – a grave ailment that requires emergency tending.
  • Pain allaying medicines like codeine and some kinds of eardrops that aid in lowering agonizing earache. In case of eardrum rupture, eardrops must not be used.
  • At times, corticosteroids, dubbed as steroids, are given alongside antibiotics for treating fluid accumulation behind the eardrum (also called otitis media with effusion). However, steroids are not an apt choice for curing otitis media. If a kid has had exposure to someone infected with chickenpox in the last three weeks, then steroids must not be used.

Treatment and prevention of ear infections normally show little improvement when decongestants, antihistamines, expectorants or other kinds of over-the-counter cold medicines are used. There could be thickening of fluids due to the drowsiness the child experiences after being given antihistamines which could further worsen matters. It is always wise to consult with the doctor prior to any form of medicine being given to the child. Experts have advised against the use of decongestants among infants less than two years of age.

Antibiotics might aid in curing ear infections that are bacteria-derived.

Points to consider :

There are some doctors that normally choose to treat all forms of ear infections by using antibiotics. Few points that need consideration prior to the kid taking antibiotics are:

  • Bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics – The major issue with the use of antibiotics in treating ear infections are the likelihood of creation of bacterial strains that cannot be annihilated by usual antibiotics – also known as antibiotic-resistant strains. Hence, antibiotics must be used solely when deemed necessary to hinder this process.
  • There could be mild versions of diarrhea and appearance of rashes after consuming antibiotics though grave side effects are a rarity.
  • Majority of antibiotics are costly, hence one might need to assess the costing against the factuality that majority of ear infections subside without the need of treatment.

In case the child is still symptomatic –having fever and earache that lasts for more than two days following the commencement of antibiotics, then a different form of antibiotic might prove effective. The doctor must be contacted in case the child is not showing improvement in spite of two days following antibiotic treatment.

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