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Comparative efficacy and optimal duration of first-line antibiotic regimens for acute otitis media in children and adolescents: a systematic review and network meta-analysis of 89 randomized clinical trials

journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-01, 15:18 authored by Min Seo Kim, Jae Han Kim, Seohyun Ryu, Seung Won Lee, Dong Keon Yon, Eunyoung Kim, Ai Koyanagi, Elena Dragioti, Jae Il Shin, Lee Smith
Introduction Antibiotic use for acute otitis media (AOM) is one of the major sources of antimicrobial resistance. However, the effective minimal antibiotic duration for AOM remains unclear. Moreover, guidelines often recommend broad ranges (5–10 days) of antibiotic use, yet the clinical impact of such a wide window has not been assessed. Methods We systematically searched PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library from database inception to 6 October 2021. Network meta-analysis was conducted on randomized controlled trials that assessed antibiotic treatment for AOM in children (PROSPERO CRD42020196107). Results For amoxicillin and amoxicillin–clavulanate, 7-day regimens were noninferior to 10-day regimens in clinical responses [amoxicillin: risk ratio (RR) 0.919 (95% CI 0.820–1.031), amoxicillin–clavulanate: RR 1.108 (0.957–1.282)], except for ≤ 2 years. For the third-generation cephalosporins, 7-day and 10-day regimens had similar clinical responses compared to placebo [7-day: RR 1.420 (1.190–1.694), 10-day: RR 1.238 (1.125–1.362) compared to placebo]. However, 5-day regimens of amoxicillin–clavulanate and third-generation cephalosporins were inferior to 10-day regimens. Compared to amoxicillin, a shorter treatment duration was tolerable with amoxicillin–clavulanate. Conclusions Our findings indicated that 10 days of antibiotic use may be unnecessarily long, while the treatment duration should be longer than 5 days. Otherwise, 5-day regimens would be sufficient for a modest treatment goal. Our findings revealed that the current wide range of recommended antibiotic durations may have influenced the clinical outcome of AOM, and a narrower antibiotic duration window should be re-established.



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World Journal of Pediatrics





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  • Accepted version


  • eng

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Faculty of Science & Engineering

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