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Objective: To compare the effectiveness of ciprofloxacin and oxymetazoline solutions instilled after tympanostomy tube placement in the prevention of postoperative otorrhea and tube occlusion.

Study Design: Prospective cross-sectional series.

Methods: We reviewed all bilateral myringotomy and tube placement operations performed by two full-time attending pediatric otolaryngologists during a 9 month period. Data from 488 patients who underwent surgery for otitis media were collected. Demographic and clinical variables including age, sex, number of tube insertions in the past, previous adenoidectomy, type of effusion present at surgery, and type of drop prescribed postoperatively were recorded. All patients were evaluated in the office 2 to 4 weeks postoperatively. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the relationship of these variables with the occurrence of otorrhea and tube patency. Odds ratios were calculated.

Results: No significant differences in postoperative otorrhea or tube patency were found between ciprofloxacin (Ciloxan) and oxymetazoline solutions (Afrin, Visine LR).

Conclusion: Oxymetazoline and ciprofloxacin solutions are equivalent in the prevention of postoperative otorrhea and tube occlusion after tympanostomy tube placement. The implications for medication cost and potential adverse reactions are discussed.

(C) The American Laryngological, Rhinological & Otological Society, Inc.