Antibiotic-glucocorticoid eardrops beat oral antibiotics or initial observation alone in resolving acute otorrhea in children with tympanostomy tubes (van Dongen T et al. N Engl J Med. 2014;370:723-733). The finding was from a study of 230 children with otorrhea (mean age of 4.5 years) who were randomized to receive hydrocortisone-bacitracin-colistin eardrops for 7 days, oral amoxicillin-clavulanate suspension for 7 days, or observation for 2 weeks.
After 2 weeks, 5% of children treated with eardrops still had otorrhea, compared with 44% of those who received oral antibiotics and 55% of those who were assigned to initial observation. The median duration of otorrhea was 4 days for children treated with eardrops, 5 days for those treated with oral antibiotics, and 12 days for those assigned to observation.
Slomski A. Antibiotic Eardrops Best for Treating Otorrhea in Kids With Ear Tubes. JAMA. 2014;311(12):1191. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.3045