Are systemic prophylactic antibiotics indicated with anterior nasal packing for spontaneous epistaxis?

Acta Otolaryngol. 2009 Feb;129(2):179-81. doi: 10.1080/00016480802043964.


Conclusion: This pilot study did not show an advantage of the routine use of prophylactic antibiotics for spontaneous epistaxis treated by nasal packing.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the value of the use of prophylactic antibiotics in spontaneous epistaxis cases treated with anterior nasal packing.

Subjects and methods: Over a period of 6 months, all cases of epistaxis managed with anterior nasal packing were studied prospectively. After pack removal, swabs from the packed and the non-packed sides of the nasal cavity were cultured to detect any difference in the bacterial growth pattern between the two sides. All these cases were clinically evaluated to detect any infection secondary to the anterior nasal packing.

Results: We did not observe infection in any of the cases before or after removal of the anterior nasal pack. The bacterial growth profile of packed and non-packed sides of the nose did not differ significantly.

MeSH terms

  • Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate Combination / administration & dosage*
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis*
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Epistaxis / drug therapy*
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Nasal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tampons, Surgical*


  • Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate Combination