This report describes the results of a review that was done to compare, from the patients' and their parents' perspective, costs involved in treating acute otitis media in children with amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium or cefpodoxime proxetil. The following costs were included in the analysis: average wholesale price of the initial antibiotic prescribed, cost of initial and follow-up physician visits for additional treatment, antibiotics for treatment failures, and medications and products required to manage side effects. The amount of time that parents were required to take off work or school to deal with treatment failures or side effects in their children and the number of times that parents phoned the physician about side effects were also monitored. The acquisition costs of the initial antibiotics were slightly higher for patients who received cefpodoxime proxetil than for those who were given amoxicillin/clavulanate. However, the total costs were greater with amoxicillin/clavulanate therapy. In addition, the time that parents were required to take to deal with treatment failures or side effects in their children was greater in the amoxicillin/clavulanate group. More parents from the amoxicillin/clavulanate group also phoned their physicians about side effects. The results of this review confirm that there are many factors in addition to acquisition cost that must be considered when determining the total cost of treating a patient with a specific drug.