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Ampicillin or Penicillin for Otitis Media: A Controversy Further Clarified

Am J Dis Child. 1973;126(5):714-715. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1973.02110190575029.
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To the Editor.—The article by Bass and associates (125:397-402, 1973) and editorial by Stickler (125:403, 1973) in the March issue of the Journal concerning treatment regimens and therapeutic trials in acute otitis media is of considerable interest to pediatric house officers, who are in the position of dealing daily with the entity and treating it under circumstances often not conducive to patient compliance. I agree with Dr. Stickler's preference for the use of intramuscularly administered penicillin over orally administered ampicillin (regarding diarrheal complications), and I agree with him that the recommendations of Bass and associates do not follow clearly from their conclusions. However, the methods used by Bass and his colleagues, as well as by Dr. Stickler in a previous study1 both fail to distinguish etiologic agents. Nilson and co-workers2 studied 306 children with acute otitis media and compared penicillin phenoxymethyl, penicillin plus sulfisoxazoles, and ampicillin trihydrate.


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