Drugs and Medications to Treat Ear Infection

If you are otherwise healthy, your doctor might ask you to wait for a few days to see whether the ear infection clears up on its own. In the meantime, over-the-counter pain relief medications may be taken to reduce the pain.

Ear Infection that refuses to Heal Naturally is treated with antibiotics.

Medications To Treat Ear Infection


When an ear infection does not improve without medication, antibiotics are recommended to heal the bacterial infection. However, doctors usually prescribe antibiotics right away to children diagnosed with ear infections who appear to be very ill. If there is a risk of complications, regardless of age physicians may prescribe antibiotics to the patient.

Antibiotic therapy is also recommended when ear infection is accompanied by fever above 102 degree Fahrenheit. Ear infection with moderate to severe ear pain may require antibiotic medications. Although the symptoms of ear infection will improve significantly within a few days after taking the antibiotic drug, to prevent recurrent infections or to avoid developing resistance to the antibiotic drug, remember to finish the full course of the medication as directed by your doctor.

Among the different types of antibiotics available for ear infection, amoxicillin is the most widely used antibiotic medication recommended by most doctors for treating the infection.

Pain Medications

Even ear infections that heal naturally without antibiotic therapy may require pain relief medications to reduce ear pain. Usually over-the-counter pain-relief drugs are used for alleviating the ear pain.


Aspirin can be given to teenagers and children above 2 years of age. However, it should not be taken if ear infection is accompanied by flu-like symptoms.

medication for ear infection

Aspirin is linked to Reye syndrome. Therefore, it should be used only under medical supervision by children and teenagers.


Ibuprofen is safer and a milder non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, suitable for reducing pain and inflammation of the middle ear caused by ear infection.

Acetaminophen or Paracetamol



Ear pain and mild fever, common symptoms of ear infection, usually respond to treatment with acetaminophen or paracetamol.


If ear infection causes severe earache, codeine may be taken to alleviate the pain. Codeine is classified as an opiate analgesic. It is sometimes combined with aspirin and acetaminophen. Do not take large doses of the drug or use it for a long time.


Occasionally, corticosteroids are prescribed along with antibiotics for treating ear infections.


They help to eliminate fluid build-up from behind the eardrum, a condition known as otitis media.


Moderate to severe ear pain can be treated with eardrops. However, eardrops should be avoided when the eardrum is ruptured.
Eardrops containing antipyrine and benzocaine are frequently used for reducing earache. They are usually used for treating otis media. The eardrop may be used several times a day. They are usually combined with antibiotic therapy for healing ear infection. However, these medications are considered unsafe for children less than two years of age. Benzocaine present in the eardrop may cause a rare and occasionally fatal health disorder that reduces the oxygen content in the blood.