Evid Based Nurs 7:43 doi:10.1136/ebn.7.2.43
  • Treatment

Ear drops containing steroids were better than acetic acid for otitis externa

 Q In patients with acute otitis externa, what is the relative effectiveness of ear drops containing acetic acid, steroids and acetic acid, and steroids and antibiotics?



randomised controlled trial.




blinded (health care providers and patients).

GraphicFollow up period:

42 days.


47 general practices in the central part of the Netherlands.


213 patients (mean age 43 y, 50% men) presenting with signs and symptoms of acute otitis externa. Exclusion criteria: age ⩽17 years, pregnancy, otitis externa lasting >3 weeks, furuncle in the external auditory canal, acute otitis media, perforated eardrum, perichondritis, fever, allergy to study drugs, or treatment for acute otitis externa in the past month.


3 ear drops 3 times daily of 7.2 mg of acetic acid per gram of propylene glycol (acetic acid group) (n = 71); 0.1% triamcinolone acetonide and acetic …

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