OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to systematically review the literature on animal ototoxicity from ototopical medications. A secondary objective was to assess the relevance of animal data to the use of ototopical drops in clinical situations involving humans. STUDY DESIGN: We performed a MEDLINE search of the published literature using appropriate search terms to identify pertinent articles, which were reviewed, summarized, and tabulated. RESULTS: One hundred seventy-three articles were reviewed; 61 articles were appropriate to the study question and were further analyzed. CONCLUSIONS: Virtually all studies demonstrate that aminoglycoside antibiotics, when applied topically into the middle ear space, are ototoxic in experimental animals.
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