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A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, Otoneurosurgery

Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus




Otorinolaringologia 2002 December;52(4):177-84

language: Italian

Effectiveness and tolerability of polymyxin-neomycin-lidocaine combined topical therapy in the treatment of external otitis

Margarino G. 1, Scala M. 1, Castellini V. 2

1 Divisione ORL Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Genova
2 Divisione ORL Ospedale Civile, Sestri Levante (GE)


Background. This clinical randomized controlled study was carried out on 270 patients with diffuse external otitis. The patients were divided into two groups of 135 subjects affected with bacterial otitis or bacterial otitis with mycotic superinfection. Each of the two groups was then further subdivided into three subgroups of 45 subjects to evaluate the effectiveness of combined therapy with the three active principles (polymyxin B+neomycin+lidocaine drops for topical use) vs tobramycin drops in association with polymyxin B+neomycin drops, alone, or with procaine and phenazone.
Methods. Clinical examination and ENT examination were performed to evaluate external ear effusion and inflammation of the tympanic membrane. Pain symptoms (local and radiating) were assessed using a visual analog scale (VAS), which was also used to evaluate hypoacusia.
Results. All study drugs were found to be effective in resolving symptoms, with reduction or elimination of effusion and tympanic inflammation both in the treatment of bacterial otits and bacterial otitis with mycotic superinfection. The addition of local anesthetic (lidocaine or procaine) generally led to more rapid resolution of subjective symptoms. All study drugs were well tolerated.
Conclusions. The study combined drug therapy (polymyxin B + neomycin + lidocaine) cleared the infection more rapidly than the comparison treatments.

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