Antihistamines and Alpha-Adrenergic Agents in Treatment of Otitis Media

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Studies are not available to support the common use of alpha-adrenergic agents and/or antihistamines in the treatment of acute otitis media. A total of 378 patients with acute otitis were entered in a double-blind study comparing treatment results with antibiotics and either placebo, pseudoephedrine, triprolidine, or a combination of these; 196 patients returned. Age and return rate did not differ among groups. Cure rates and duration of fever were the same for each group. The cost and possible side effects of these agents, added to their lack of beneficial effect in otitis, should interdict their use.

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