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Effectiveness of 3 per cent boric acid in 70 per cent alcohol versus 1 per cent clotrimazole solution in otomycosis patients: a randomised, controlled trial

  • S Romsaithong (a1), K Tomanakan (a2), W Tangsawad (a1) and S Thanaviratananich (a3)
Abstract Objectives:

To compare the clinical effectiveness and adverse events for 3 per cent boric acid in 70 per cent alcohol versus 1 per cent clotrimazole solution in the treatment of otomycosis.


A total of 120 otomycosis patients were randomly assigned to receive either 1 per cent clotrimazole solution (intervention group) or 3 per cent boric acid in 70 per cent alcohol (control group) at the Khon Kaen Hospital ENT out-patient department. Treatment effectiveness was determined based on the otomicroscopic absence of fungus one week after therapy, following a single application of treatment.


After 1 week of treatment, there were data for 109 participants, 54 in the clotrimazole group and 55 in the boric acid group. The absolute difference in cure rates between 1 per cent clotrimazole solution and 3 per cent boric acid in 70 per cent alcohol was 17.9 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval, 2.3 to 33.5; p = 0.028) and the number needed to treat was 6 (95 per cent confidence interval, 3.0 to 43.4). Adverse events for the two agents were comparable.


One per cent clotrimazole solution is more effective than 3 per cent boric acid in 70 per cent alcohol for otomycosis treatment.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Sanguansak Thanaviratananich, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand Fax: +66 43 202 490 E-mail:
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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
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