Beacon Transcript – A new study went to show that child ear infections should be properly treated with longer cures, despite the somewhat common practice of going for the shorter method.
Child ear infections are not uncommon occurrences. However, they should be treated with the proper care. This usually presupposes the use of antibiotics.
For this reason, some parents chose a shorter than standard-duration treatment method. One of their main reasons for doing so is a potential future antibiotics resistance. Their fear that their children might develop one.
However, a new study went to analyze the child ear infections treatments. University of Pittsburg researchers carried out the research.
Their study was released earlier this week. It was published on December 22 in The New England Journal of Medicine. It was titled as follows. “Shortened Antimicrobial treatment for Acute Otitis Media in Young Children”.
“Acute otitis media” are more commonly known as ear infections. They affect the middle ear and are caused by bacteria. Such infections determine a painfully inflamed ear.
Child ear infections are common throughout the first year of life. Three out of four children are estimated to develop the problem. As such, it is also the most common reason for prescribing antibiotics.
Because of the latter, some parents cut the treatment short. They chose a 5-day long regimen. However, the study found them to have worse outcomes than the long ones.
520 children were involved in a clinical trial. They were all aged between 6 to 23 months old. The children were randomly assigned an ear infection treatment.
One group received the standard ten-days long regimen. This involves the use of amoxicillin-clavulanate, an antibiotic.
The other group received the shortened, five-days long treatment. An amoxicillin-clavulanate antibiotic was used during the said period. For the remaining five days, they were given placebos.
Research results showed that the second regimen had a twice as high failure rate. More exactly, child ear infections were more likely to still be registered amongst the second group of children.
In the first group, only 10 percent of the kids still had problems after the treatment regimen. The second group registered a percent treatment failure rate, in contrast.
Ear infection symptoms were also seen to have worsened. The five-day treatment children showed the following signs. They cried, tugged at their ears, and were irritable. They also had trouble sleeping, a diminished appetite, or had fever.
Antibiotics tests were also carried out. They targeted the presence of antibiotics-resistant bacteria. Results were similar for both treatment regimens. No marked difference was registered in either group.
The short child ear infection treatments also encountered another setback. They do not help decrease the appearance of other complications. These might include diaper rashes or diarrhea.
The researchers involved in the study did point out an important factor. According to them, the research targeted children up to 23 months old. As such, the results might not apply to older children.
Alejandro Hoberman, the study lead, went to offer details. According to him, the study demonstrates the importance of a proper child ear infections treatment.
Five-day regimens were, as such, noted to bring no benefits. They were not better in treating the problem or preventing side-effects. Antibiotics-resistance advantages were also not found.
Hoberman stated that such a resistance should be a cause for concern. Still, a 10-days treatment is nonetheless better. Its potential risks are outnumbered by its added benefits.
As such, the research advises sticking to a full-length, longer treatment. In treating child ear infections, they should also continue using the prescribed antibiotics. Even if the child appears to be better, the regimen should still be carried out to its end.
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