The effectiveness of topical 1% lidocaine with systemic oral analgesics for ear pain with acute otitis media

KARA A., Büyükcam A., Sütçü M., Sali E., Bozdemir Ş. E., Kara M., ...More

International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, vol.156, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 156
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2022.111116
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Acute otitis media, Otalgia, Lidocaine, Systemic oral analgesics, CHILDREN, MANAGEMENT, DROPS
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022Background: Acute otitis media (AOM) is one of the most common childhood infections. Ear pain, the main symptom of AOM, results in parents frequently seeking medical assistance for their children. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of topical 1% lidocaine ear drops administered with oral analgesics with that of oral analgesics alone. Methods: This multicenter randomized, open-labeled study was conducted at 15 centers with 184 pediatric AOM patients with bilateral ear pain (aged 1–5 years) between May 1, 2016, and June 31, 2018. All patients received oral paracetamol or ibuprofen and topical 1% lidocaine, which was administered to each ear according to the randomization list. The ear pain score was evaluated within 48 h using the Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, and Consolability (FLACC) scale, and the patients were followed up for 10 days. Results: The median age was 31.8 months (min–max, 12–84.2 months). Of those patients enrolled, 22.3% received paracetamol, and 24.5% received paracetamol with lidocaine ear drops; 23.4% received ibuprofen, and 29.9% received ibuprofen with lidocaine ear drops. Lower pain scores were significantly measured at baseline and 10th minutes by a reduction 25% (RR 13.64, 95% CI 4.47–41.63, p = 0.001, RR 0.14, 95% CI 0.06–0.35, p = 0.001) and 50% (RR 4.76, 95% CI 1.63–13.87, p = 0.004, RR 0.14, 95% CI 0.05–0.4, p = 0.001) in the paracetamol and lidocaine versus paracetamol groups and the ibuprofen and lidocaine versus ibuprofen groups, respectively. No serious side effects were evident during follow-up. Conclusion: This randomized study suggests that topical 1% lidocaine ear drops with paracetamol or ibuprofen seems to provide effective and rapid relief for children presenting with ear pain attributed to AOM.