Background: Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents are the mainstay of acute external otitis (AEO) treatment. The present study investigated the effectiveness of a combination herbal drop (Lamigex) composed of essential oils from Syzygium aromaticum, Lavandula angustifolia, and Geranium robertianum in the alleviation of AEO symptoms and compared its effects to those of ciprofloxacin 0.3% drop.
Methods: Seventy patients were randomly assigned to receive ciprofloxacin 0.3% (n = 35) or Lamigex (n = 35) drop. Each group was administered with three drops every 12 hours for a week. Patients were examined for AEO symptoms and ear discharge cultures at baseline as well as at the end of trial. Pain severity was also recorded using a visual analogue scale at baseline, the 3(rd) day, and the 7(th) day of the trial.
Results: All assessed symptoms (tenderness, itching, erythema, edema and discharge) were equally improved in the ciprofloxacin and Lamigex groups by the end of trial (p > 0.05). There were remarkable reductions in the visual analogue scale score by the end of trial in both groups (p < 0.001). However, the rate of pain improvement was not found to be significantly different between the groups, either at the 3(rd) or 7(th) day of trial (p > 0.05). The numbers of positive cultures for all tested microorganisms were clearly reduced by the end of the trial in both groups but were not significantly different between the groups (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: The herbal combination drop that was investigated in the present study exhibited good efficacy in reducing the burden of infection as well as AEO symptoms.
Keywords: Acute external otitis; Ciprofloxacin; Clinical trial; Geranium robertianum; Infection; Inflammation; Lavandula angustifolia; Pain; Syzygium aromaticum.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V.