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Otitis media (acute): antimicrobial prescribing

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Last updated:10th Mar 2022
Otitis media (acute): antimicrobial prescribing - National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

This guideline sets out an antimicrobial prescribing strategy for acute otitis media (ear infection). It aims to limit antibiotic use and reduce antimicrobial resistance. Acute otitis media can be caused by viruses or bacteria. It lasts for about a week, and most children get better in 3 days without antibiotics. Serious complications are rare.

In March 2022, we reviewed the evidence and added a recommendation on eardrops containing an anaesthetic and an analgesic because a licensed preparation is now available in the UK. For more information, see update information.

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