Ear infection: Ever cured with first round of antibiotics?

How likely is it that the first round of antibiotics will clear up and ear infection?
I have never seen this happen.
If it is unlikely, why don’t they change the protocol?

IME, Yes. Both mine & my sons.

Always cleared up.

My children had lots of ear infections and one course of amoxicillin was always sufficient.

I use isopropyl alcohol and vinegar for an ear infection. Works on pigs, too.

We have never had to get antibiotics for ear infections, one course of ear drops has always done the trick.


Usually I get oral meds (because for me an ear infection comes along with a sinus infection). But when it’s been just an ear infection, I’ve had drops.

Both have worked first go-round.

My ENT has told me that some antibiotics are pretty useless for ear infections now (for example, Zithromax). I normally get Ceftin because I’m allergic to penicillin.

I guess we’re outliers.

Thank you for your responses.

Ditto for my youngest daughter but when she was 1-2, she did have “traces of infection” (probably not the right terminology, sorry) in her ears for months after a particularly nasty otitis.

My sons’ pediatrician was telling me that a lot of “ear infections” are actually viral, and will resolve on their own, and that they typically give them a little while and see if that happens. If not, or if it gets worse, then they break out the antibiotics.

So it’s entirely likely that it was viral in your case, and that neither course of antibiotics did anything useful, and the timing was coincidental.

My experience involve multiple people and about a dozen different instances.

If the infections are likely viral, then why does the protocol call for antibiotics I wonder.
Doesn’t seem helpful.

When I was a kid and susceptible to ear infections, one round seemed to do the trick just fine.

My theory: if it is bacterial, it can escalate very, very quickly, and can be extraordinarily painful. Overuse of antibiotics is a bad thing, but sitting in an ER at 2 in the morning with a toddler with bloody pus running out of their ear is a situation which I would not want to risk.

I had chronic ear infections as a kid, and so did my brother. I don’t recall either of us having anything persistent - just a round of Amox and we were good. Until a few weeks later when we got another.

I’ve never needed more than one round of antibiotics. Usually cefixime or erythromycin (I have an amoxicillin allergy).

This is the very definition of not working. You didn’t get another one, you almost killed the first one and then it came back, more resistant than before.

I also have this issue. I have had at least 20 ear/sinus infections over the years and one round never works for me. I tell the doctors this up front, some of them even listen.

To me, if it comes right back, I don’t count it as having worked.

imho, a LOT of drs have super crappy skills when it comes to their patients.
I have a great dr but haven’t been able to see him because of scheduling conflicts.
His partner is a run of the mill dr.

Our pediatrician was very good about not over-using antibiotics. Sore throats were assumed to be viral unless there was a positive strep test. With earaches, short of poking a hole in the eardrum, it’s hard to get a sample to test, so if they could see there was an actual infection they always prescribed a course of Amoxicillin. If the earache returned they would try a different antibiotic.

It doesn’t.

Or at least, not at first. Uncomplicated ear infections in otherwise healthy kids over 2 are recommended for observation and symptomatic relief of pain, but not antibiotics. http://www.uptodate.com/contents/ear-infections-otitis-media-in-children-beyond-the-basics

Some doctors are better at keeping their antibiotics in check than others. It’s awfully tempting to give them just in case it is bacteria, when you’ve got a sick unhappy kid and an unhappy parent who just gave up a day and a $50 co-pay to hear you’re just going to wait and watch.

I apply ear drops containing oil of oregano mixed with olive oil and it takes care of outer ear infections within a couple of days. I’ve never taken antibiotics for one.