[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 15, 1976

Cost of Drugs for Otitis Media

Author Affiliations

University of Florida The J. Hillis Miller Health Center Gainesville

JAMA. 1976;235(11):1105. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260370015004

To the Editor.—  The article, "Evaluating Cephalexin in Otitis Media," by McLinn et al (234:171, 1975) was a most complete study demonstrating the therapeutic efficacy of cephalexin monohydrate in childhood otitis media. I regret that the discussion did not include the following points:

  1. The success rate achieved is similar to that using ampicillin or other drugs.1

  2. The side effects of ampicillin, although perhaps more frequent than those of cephalexin, are rarely severe and rarely require cessation of therapy.1

  3. The cost of cephalexin to the pharmacist is more than twice that of ampicillin (by a poll of local pharmacies), and for a 13-day course, cephalexin will cost at least $1.20 per kilogram of body weight more, or $12 to $48 more for a course of therapy (10- to 40-kg child).

  4. Against the major pathogens of otitis media, ampicillin is ten times as

potent as cephalexin in vitro.2