20 answers

What is the best over the counter medication to cure swimmer ear

Anyone know what to do for swimmer's ear? My doctor gave me a prescription for these ear drops (antibiotic) which i was going to get filled but w/my insurance having a high deductible i need to pay $98 for these ear drops. My ear is painful to the touch and when i put any pressure to it. Do the over the counter drops work? I've had this now for about 3days but haven't tried anything yet. Any suggestions? I know about the vinegar and alcohol solution but i was told that would only be helpful in PREVENTING it NOT healing it.

What can I do next?


If your doctor gave you a prescription for an antibiotic, then you're having a bacterial infection. So, over the counter stuff won't get rid of that. The best thing to do is call your doctor and ask for Generic Cortisporin Otic solution.

Featured Answers

There are ear drops [Similasan] at Walmart that work great for this and any inner ear ailment. I believe it cost around $5. I also believe they carry another brand specific for swimmer's ear at around the same price.


The over the counter product named "Swim-EAR" works for me. I also was listening to the Peoples' Pharmacy on NPR and they recommend the over-the-counter drops because it has 3 ingredients that all work together, alcohol, vinegar and one other I can't remember.

More Answers

Go to the the health food store in your area there are 3 or 4 solutions for swimmers ear.

If you are breastfeeding you could try using breast milk. When my daughter was little and I was nursing my 3 year old had an ear infection and a friend who is a chiropractor said to drop breast milk in his ear because it contains a large number of antibiotics. I tried it with him for a week, while not giving him the antibiotic prescribed. When I went back to the ped. his ear was all clear. I told the nurse what I did and she said "that doesn't work", well clearly it did for him.
Other than that I would contact your doc and request a generic for the drug. Tell him with your health plan it's too expensive. He may even be able to hook you up with a free sample.

i have never had swimmer's ear, but have had earaches in the past. There are some over-the-counter ear drops you can purchase by similystan(spelling is probably wrong) they really helped me. The sell them at osco, walgreens etc. in the ear/eye portion of the aisle! I think they cost around $7.

HI Mimi,

If he gave you a prescription for an antibiotic, I'm assuming you have a bacterial infection. So... over the counter stuff won't get rid of that. Anyway... I may have some very good news about where to get your prescription.

Meijer has been giving away about 5 or 6 kinds of antibiodics absolutely FREE! PM me or call Meijer pharmacy and get the list that's free and then you can ask your doctor if any of them will be suitable in clearing up your infection. I would not wait too much longer... your hearing is serious.

There are Meijer stores in Arlington Hts., Naperville, and Bloomingdale. (Maybe more... I just can't think of anymore now.) There's a drive thru, too. The best part.... they just gave me a coupon for $20 (no strings attached) to spend in their store. It was attached to the bag with my son's free antibiotic inside: )

Good luck!


Swimmers ear is not the same as a middle ear infection. It IS bacterial and will require an antibiotic to clear. Call your doctor and explain that it is 98.00 for the cost of the prescription they gave you, and ask for Generic Cortisporin Otic solution (ear drops), which comes in a generic and is dirt cheap and effective or even Cipro pills which is on the 4.00 list at most pharmacies. I have a medical background, and am also well versed in alternative medicine having worked 2 years in a clinic that treated things naturally, and some of the suggestions made here concern me. Swimmers ear is painful, but pretty benign if treated appropriately... if left untreated, it can progress into serious situations. This is one of those situations where an antibiotic is your best choice. Once the infection is cleared, you can use alcohol to rinse out your ear canal to help prevent recurrence. Good luck.

Ouch - I hate swimmers ear. An oral antibiotic would probably work for you as well. I think I have had plain oral cipro prescribed for this once. The last one I had the doc prescribed a mild antibiotic eardrop but the infection just got worse. When I returned a couple days later they gave me a more potent ear drop, an oral antiobiotic, as well as Tylenol 3 because 3 ibuprofen tablets was hardly touching the pain. I think they like to use the drops as it gets the antibiotic to the source of the infection better but I would think an oral one would work just as well and you can get a lot of those for $4 or less. I also felt like my ear canal was so swollen the drops weren't really getting in there that well anyhow. You can also get a prescription for numbing drops too. Never tried them but you could ask. For a mild infection, I have also tried grapefruit seed oil (from a health food store) and it seemed to work. Good luck!

Mimi-Is this request for your little guy that has the rash as well??

First of all-you can get Debrox ($8.00 @ walgreens) or go to whole Foods or a mom and pop health food store (there is one is Niles I love) and get there ear drops for $14.00 ear drops or use hydrogen peroxide. As far as the pain with any thing like ear, sinus or a UTI you can give them baking soda in water to drink and in 20 minutes it is a great pain reliever and will help HEAL as well as the peroxide (it does not taste so great-you can keep pH drops on hand). Did your doctor tell you that antibiotics do not work on ear infections??

Let me know if you need more info.

I hope this helps)

Detox Coach

Dear Mimi, go to www.seagate.com and their ear drops work and won't cost you $98 and the one for kids work as well. L.

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