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Oral corticosteroids for painful acute otitis externa (swimmer's ear): A triple-blind randomised controlled trial.

Journal article
Authors Graeme Balch
Clare Heal
Anders Cervin
Ronny K Gunnarsson
Published in Australian journal of general practice
Volume 48
Issue 8
Pages 565-572
ISSN 2208-7958
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Centre for antibiotic resistance research, CARe
Pages 565-572
Language en
Subject categories Family Medicine, Dermatology and Venereal Diseases, Otorhinolaryngology


Acute otitis externa is often painful. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of 10 mg oral prednisolone twice daily for four days in addition to conventional therapy.Patients attending general practice clinics in Far North Queensland, Australia, for acute painful otitis externa were given a study capsule with either 10 mg prednisone or placebo.Seventy-three patients were randomised. Results from 19 patients in the intervention group and 11 patients in the control group were analysed. Oral corticosteroids did not decrease the time to being completely pain-free but decreased the time for pain to reduce from more than 'moderate pain' to less than 'moderate pain', from 3.7 days to 2.4 days (P = 0.012, log rank test).Oral corticosteroids seem to be effective in reducing more than 'moderate pain' to less than 'moderate pain'. However, this result needs to be confirmed in a larger trial.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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