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Historical perspective on the use of otic antimicrobial agents

MYER, CHARLES M. III MD

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: January 2001 - Volume 20 - Issue 1 - p 98-101
SUPPLEMENT: THE USE OF TOPICAL OFLOXACIN FOR OTIC DISEASES IN INFANTS AND CHILDREN
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Treatment of otorrhea has been described in the literature since 1500 BC. A multitude of therapeutic options have been described, including the use of astringents, antiseptics, alcohol, benzoin and various powders. Since the middle of the 20th century, antibiotic usage has been promoted as the most effective means of therapy. Until recently none of the agents that were used was found to be safe for middle ear use. Since 1990 there have been publications describing the safety and efficacy of fluoroquinolone drops for acute and chronic otorrhea. This article details the transition from treatment of otorrhea with nonspecific means to an era of antimicrobial therapy based on sound scientific evidence.

From the Pediatric Otolaryngology Department, Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.

Address for reprints: Charles M. Myer III, M.D., Pediatric Otolaryngology Department, Children’s Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnett Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039. Fax 513-636-2886; E-mail myerc0@chmcc.org.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.