How Do Otic Antibiotics Work?

How do otic antibiotics work?

Otic antibiotics are medications that are used to treat bacterial infections in the external and middle ear. Otic antibiotics kill bacteria by inhibiting gyrase, an enzyme that is essential for bacterial DNA synthesis. By blocking gyrase, otic antibiotics promote DNA breakage, and prevent recombination and replication of the bacterial DNA.

Otic antibiotics are effective against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria are structurally different and are classified depending on whether they get stained or not by a violet dye used in a laboratory test known as the Gram stain test.

Otic antibiotics are used to treat ear infections caused by gram-positive bacteria such as:

Gram-negative bacteria that otic antibiotics are effective against include:

How are otic antibiotics used?

Otic antibiotics are solutions or suspensions that are topically administered into the ear canal. Otic antibiotics are used to treat or prevent infections in the following conditions or treatment procedures:

  • Otitis externa: External ear infection
  • Chronic suppurative otitis media: Chronic infection and inflammation of the middle ear with eardrum perforation and drainage
  • Tympanostomy tube placement: A procedure that involves suctioning fluid from the middle ear and placing a tiny tube through the eardrum to drain fluid and relieve pressure
  • Acute otitis media with tympanostomy tubes: Acute middle ear infection or inflammation after tympanostomy tube placement

What are side effects of otic antibiotics?

Side effects of otic antibiotics may include:

Otic side effects:

  • Ear itching (pruritus)
  • Fungal ear superinfection
  • Application site pain
  • Application site reactions
  • Ear discomfort
  • Otitis media
  • Earache
  • Bleeding from the ear (otorrhagia)
  • Noises in the ear (tinnitus)
  • Transient hearing loss

Systemic side effects:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of some otic antibiotic drugs?

Generic and brand name of otic antibiotic drugs include:


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