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June 10, 1992

Secretory Otitis Media: The Cantekin Affair-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Pittsburgh (Pa)

JAMA. 1992;267(22):3030-3031. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480220047024

In Reply.  —Dr Jacobson suggests that our article fails to deal with the question of whether antibiotics provide symptomatic relief, as distinguished from the question of whether antibiotics clear otitis media.The study in question was focused on otitis media with effusion (secretory otitis), sometimes called asymptomatic otitis media. Therefore, by inclusion criteria the patients did not have the kind of symptoms to which Jacobson refers.The symptoms to which Jacobson refers are associated with acute otitis media. Several recent studies (Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Israeli, and multinational) show that antibiotic treatment for acute otitis media is not effective.1-5 Jacobson will be interested to learn that the acute otitis media study conducted at the Otitis Media Research Center in Pittsburgh and completed in 1985 showed that amoxicillin was not effective in clearing severe episodes of acute otitis media.6Dr Gates and Klein express a continued belief in the effectiveness