Acetic acid is used to treat an outer ear infection (external otitis). It works by stopping the growth of bacteria and fungus. Treating the infection reduces pain and swelling in the ear. Wetness in the ear canal can help bacteria and fungus to grow. This medication may also contain drying ingredients such as glycerin or alcohol. Drying of the ear canal helps to cure the infection.
Use this medication in the affected ear(s) as directed by your doctor, usually 3 to 4 times daily. Use in the ear only. Do not use in the eyes, swallow, inject, or inhale the medication.
Before giving this medication, thoroughly clean the ear canal as directed, and remove any crust or other material. Then wash your hands.
To make sure that the right amount of medication is given, and to avoid touching the ear with the dropper, have another person insert the drops if possible. To lower the risk of dizziness, hold the container in your hand for a few minutes in order to warm it.
To avoid contamination, do not touch the dropper tip or let it touch your ear or any other surface. Lie on your side or tilt the affected ear upward. Hold the dropper directly over the ear, and place the prescribed number of drops into the ear canal. To help the drops roll into the ear of an adult, hold the earlobe up and back. In children, hold the earlobe down and back. Keep the head tilted for about 2 minutes, or insert a piece of cotton if your doctor directs you to do so to keep the medication in contact with your ear canal. Repeat for the other ear if so directed. Do not rinse the dropper. Replace the cap after use.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day. Continue using it for the full time prescribed, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping this medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.
Tell your doctor if your ear symptoms persist, worsen, or return after stopping this medication.
Avoid contact with the eyes. If you get some of the medication in the eye, rinse the eye with a steady, gentle stream of tap water for at least 15 minutes. Tell your doctor if the eye becomes persistently irritated or your vision is decreased.
Temporary stinging/burning in the ear canal may occur. If this effect persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Stop using this medication and tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: new pain, redness, swelling in or around the ears.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the ear/face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before using acetic acid, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Though the risks are probably small, discuss the use of this medication with your doctor.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Keep a list of all the products you use. Share the list with your doctor and pharmacist to reduce your risk for serious medication problems.
Overdose with this medication is unlikely even if swallowed. However, if swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another ear problem unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in that case.
For certain ear problems, it is important to keep the affected ear(s) clean and dry. Try not to get the affected ear(s) wet when bathing. Avoid swimming unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Different brands of this medication have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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