Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Policies on antibiotics of south east London general practitioners for managing acute otitis media in children.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 288 doi: (Published 21 April 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;288:1199
  1. R P Mills


    Questionnaires on antibiotic treatment of acute otitis media in children were sent to the general practitioners who make regular referrals to clinics in the King's College Hospital group. The most popular first choice of drug was amoxycillin (44%), but 37% of general practitioners said that they often used oral phenoxymethylpenicillin. This drug has relatively low activity against Haemophilus influenzae and many strains of Staphylococcus aureus. It is poorly absorbed from the stomach, does not penetrate the middle ear well, and its use may be one factor in the development of chronic middle ear effusions after acute otitis media. Sixty two per cent of the doctors who replied never treated acute otitis media with intramuscular antibiotics, but 57% used oral loading doses. Ninety seven per cent never treated their patients without antibiotics.