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Call for children to get pain relief ear drops

Monday March 14th 2022

Ear drops with anaesthetic and analgesic can be offered to children and young people with acute otitis media, according to new guidelines.

The new kind of ear drops should help reduce overuse of antibiotics for these ear infections, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

There is currently only one preparation of this kind in England and they require four drops to be administered two or three times a day for up to a week.

Some 896,000 episodes of acute otitis media affect infants in England annually and as many as 524,000 of these could be treated with the pain relief drops, according to NICE. It says use of these drops is currently “very minimal.”

Dr Paul Chrisp, from NICE, said: “Based on evidence, our committee agreed that ear drops containing an anaesthetic and an analgesic may reduce antibiotic consumption and relieve pain in children who did not need immediate antibiotics.

“The evidence shows antibiotics are not needed by most children and young people with middle ear infections. We must make sure the people who need them are given them, but routine prescribing in all cases isn’t appropriate.

“We will continue to monitor new studies or treatments, which could be relevant to and impact on our guidelines to ensure that our advice and information remains as up to date as possible.”

Tags: Child Health | Pain Relief | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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