Antibiotic ear drops commonly prescribed to children after ear tube surgery may increase risk for perforated eardrums.
The antibiotics in question are known as quinolones. Researchers looked at data on more than 100,000 children that had ear tube surgery and found that those treated with quinolone ear drops after the procedure were 60% more likely to experience perforated eardrums compared to those who received neomycin drops, another type of antibiotic.
Also, the risk may be higher if steroids are given in addition to the quinolone drops, the researchers reported in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
This is not the first time quinolones have come under fire. Last year, the FDA warned that fluoroquinolones – which account for most of the quinolones prescribed – should be limited due to a risk of potentially permanent side effects.