Various topical antifungal agents in otomycosis, which is the best?

J Pak Med Assoc. 2021 Dec;71(Suppl 8)(12):S32-S34.


Objective: To assess the effectiveness of some topical non-specific antifungal agents compared to topical specific antifungal drugs in otomycosis therapy.

Methods: The single-blind comparative prospective study was conducted from January 1, 2018, to January 1, 2019, at the outpatient department of Al Yarmouk Teaching Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq, and comprised patients presenting with signs and symptoms of otomycosis. The clinical diagnosis was made using otomicroscopy and was confirmed by ear swab results. They were classified into 3 equal groups, with group A receiving 1% clotrimazole ear drops, group B 3% salicylic acid drops, and group C 10% povidone iodine drops. Treatment in all the groups lasted three weeks. Data was analysed using SPSS 20.

Results: Of the 120 patients, 40(33.3%) were in each of the three groups. Overall, there were 62(51.6%) males and 58(48.4%) females with a mean age of 30.79±7.82 years. The left ear was affected in 70(58.33%) patients, and the right ear in 50(41.66%). The most commonly detected symptom was itching in 102(85%) patients. The type of fungus detected was aspergillus niger in 67(55.84%) patients and candida albicans in 53(44.16%). The overall response to treatment was in 90(74.99%) patients; group A 39(97.5%), group B 29(72.5%), and group C 21(52.5%) (p=0.0001).

Conclusions: Local antifungal agents clotrimazole, 3% salicylic acid and 10% povidone iodine were effective in the treatment of otomycosis with varying degrees of success, with clotrimazole being the most effective.

Keywords: Otomycosis, Clotrimazole, Salicylic acid, Povidone iodine, Topical antifungals..

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antifungal Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Clotrimazole / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Otomycosis* / drug therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Young Adult


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Clotrimazole