Is prednisone used for middle ear infections?

Written by sophie johnson
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Prednisone is one of several drugs classified as corticosteroids. The drug is used to treat inflammation, and as such, it is sometimes prescribed for middle ear infections or otitis media.

Synthetic Hormone

Prednisone is a synthetic form of a corticosteroid hormone that occurs naturally in the body. In the body it is produced by the adrenal glands.


Along with other drugs in its class, prednisone doesn't treat the inflammation itself, instead preventing it by inhibiting the substances that do cause inflammation.


Fluid created behind the ear drum usually drains down the eustachian tube that runs between the ear and the throat. A build-up of fluid can become infected and the area around the tube inflamed.

Prednisone in Effusion

Effusion refers to the fluid build-up in the middle ear. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal published a study showing prednisone, in combination with antibiotics, resolved effusion in 71 per cent of those patients studied.


The same study discovered that only 14 per cent of patients using a prednisone/antibiotics regimen were subsequently referred for surgery to implant drainage tubes in the eardrum. The study recommends doctors consider the prednisone/antibiotic regimen before resorting to surgery.

Other Names

Prednisone is a generic name. Brand names for prednisone, which comes in tablet or liquid form, include Liquid Pred, Orasone, Deltasone and Prednicen-M.

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