The prevalence of otitis media is increasing, which affects health care resource utilization across all segments, including the urgent care setting. One of the greatest challenges in the management of acute otitis media (AOM) is the effective treatment of cases caused by pathogens that are resistant to commonly used antibiotics. Whereas the production of β-lactamases among strains of Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis is an important consideration for antimicrobial therapy, the high prevalence of resistance to penicillin and other classes of antibiotics among strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae represents a greater clinical concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently convened the Drug Resistant S. pneumoniae Therapeutic Working Group to develop evidence-based recommendations for the treatment of AOM in an era of prevalent resistance. The recommendations from this group included amoxicillin as the preferred first-line drug because of the demonstrated activity against penicillin-intermediate and -resistant strains of S. pneumoniae, using higher dosages of up to 90 mg/kg per day in certain settings. For patients in whom initial treatment is unsuccessful after 3 days, the recommended agents included high-dose amoxicillin-clavulanate (for activity against β-lactamase -producing pathogens), clindamycin, cefuroxime axetil, or 1 to 3 doses of intramuscular ceftriaxone. The principles set forth in these guidelines can assist the therapeutic decisionmaking process for practitioners in the urgent care setting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine