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About swimmer’s ear treatment

We offer Flumetasone/Clioquinol ear drops to treat swimmer’s ear for those who have had the infection before and recognise the symptoms.
If you’ve not been diagnosed previously with swimmer’s ear, or have severe pain, pus or fluid leaking from your ear, this treatment isn’t suitable for you. Please see a healthcare professional in person.

How do Flumetasone/Clioquinol ear drops work?

Flumetasone is a topical steroid that treats inflammation. Clioquinol is an antibacterial and antifungal medicine that treats the germs causing the infection.

Need swimmer’s ear treatment?

Clinical review within 2–24 hrs

What are the side effects?

Some of the common side effects when using the ear drops are a burning sensation or itching in the ear. You might also get a skin rash, or blurred vision. These side effects are temporary. Note that, if the ear drops come into contact with your hair, they might cause hair discoloration. The drops might also stain your clothes or bed linen.
For the full list of side effects and how to use the ear drops, it’s important to read the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your medicine.

How do I take the drops?

If prescribed the ear drops, you apply two or three drops twice a day directly into the ear canal of the infected ear. After applying the drops, you should lie on the side opposite the infected ear so that the drops can go deep into the ear canal.

How long do they take to work?

You can take the ear drops twice a day for up to seven days. If you’re still having problems after seven days, you might need to see your GP about the infection.

Important safety information

It’s important that you tell us which other medicines you’re taking — whether they’re prescription or medicines you’ve bought without a prescription. You must also tell us about any other health conditions you have. We need to know so that we can prescribe swimmer’s ear treatment if it’s suitable for you.

What are my options if I don’t want treatment?

You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to help relieve the discomfort, pain and inflammation of swimmer’s ear.
To prevent swimmer’s ear from coming back, use ear plugs when swimming and dry your ears after washing your hair, having a bath or swimming by using a towel on the outside surface of the ear. Only use cotton buds on the parts of the ear that you can see, never in the ear canal.

Page last reviewed by: Dr. Christina Hennessey 21/06/2021