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December 1979

Sulfonamide and Otitis Media

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics and Primary Care Center Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville, TN 37232

Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(12):1287. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130120079017

Sir.—The article by Dr Biedel (Journal 132:681-683, 1978) on the use of sulfonamide to modify recurrent otitis media was very interesting, especially as a study done in an active practice setting and thus presumably representative of usual practice problems. There were two areas that may merit some further discussion.

I was especially concerned with the choice of control group in this study. The use of a true placebo rather than a decongestant would have made the results more convincing. The results of the study of Olson et al1 suggest that pseudoephedrine hydrochloride may be a placebo, athough in some youngsters (especially in those with histories of allergy), this decongestant seemed to have had poorer results than did placebo in the prevention of certain middle-ear phenomena. Thus, another possible explanation for Dr Biedel's results could be that the decongestant increased the risks of recurrence rather than that the sulfonamide

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