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Earaches: Take a Wait-and-See Approach

Doctors may start waiting before automatically filling out prescriptions every time a child shows up with a potential ear infection. A recent study by the American Medical Association shows that the wait-and-see prescription (WASP) approach could create a reduction in the overprescription of antibiotics.

The year-long trial was conducted on 283 children between the ages 6 and 12 who were randomly selected for either the WASP group or the control group, the latter of which was given a standard prescription that would expire in three days.

The parents of children in the WASP group were also given prescriptions, but were told not to fill them unless their child did not show improvement within 48 hours.

In the WASP group, 62 percent of the parents did not fill the prescriptions, compared to 13 percent in the control group. The researchers concluded that the WASP approach could substantially reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics in children. For more information on the signs and symptoms of earaches, and how your chiropractor can help treat them naturally, visit


Spiro D, Tay K, Arnold D, et al. Wait-and-see prescription for the treatment of acute otitis media: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association 2006;296(10):1235-1241.