Acute Otitis Externa (OE)

Acute Otitis Externa


First use analgesia.

Cure rates similar at 7 days for topical acetic acid or antibiotic +/- steroid. If cellulitis/disease extending outside ear canal, start oral antibiotics & refer to exclude malignant OE.

If cellulitis or disease extends outside ear canal, start flucloxacillin and refer to exclude malignant otitis externa

First Line: acetic acid 2%

1 spray TDS

7 days

Second Line: neomycin sulphate with corticosteroid

(If sensitivities suggest ciprofloxacin – topical use should be used where possible – eye drops can be used in ears (unlicensed route))

3 drops TDS

7 days min to 14 days max

If cellulitis: Flucloxacillin

500mg QDS

child dose


7 days