With cold and flu season still lingering on, the free NPS MedicineWise case study on otitis media and the role of antibiotics provides a topical interactive online learning activity.

Acute otitis media (AOM)/middle ear infection is usually a short-term infection often associated with upper respiratory tract infections in young children.  In Australia, 84% of patients are treated with antibiotic therapy, contributing to increasing antibacterial resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis, the most common bacterial otitis media pathogens.

Dr Jeannie Yoo, NPS MedicineWise medical adviser says, “Increasingly, the limited role of antibiotics for the treatment of acute otitis media is being recognised, which is reflected in contemporary clinical guideline recommendations.

“Many parents may not be aware that antibiotics have limited effect on early pain and may not fully appreciate the risk of side effects—such as vomiting, diarrhoea or rash. When antibiotics are not required, pharmacists are well placed to provide guidance on symptomatic management options, particularly with regards to appropriate analgesia.”

Choosing Wisely Australia

As part of the health profession-led initiative Choosing Wisely Australia, facilitated by NPS MedicineWise, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) recommend against routine use of antibiotics for otitis media in children aged 2 to 12 years (who aren’t of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent) where reassessment is a reasonable option.

The case study Otitis Media: Clarifying the role of antibiotics presents two clinical scenarios and covers initial treatment options, indications for antibiotic treatment, the role for delayed prescriptions and minimising the risk of AOM recurrence. Expert commentary is provided by Professor Chris Del Mar, GP and Professor of Public Health, Bond University.  The content is CPD-accredited with a customised version for pharmacists.

Sponsored by NPS