Can you buy Otomize ear spray over the counter? [ANSWERED]

Can you buy Otomize ear spray over the counter?

When dealing with pesky ear infections or inflammation, finding the right treatment can bring much-needed relief. Otomize ear spray is a popular medication known for its effectiveness in treating outer ear infections, but some of you may wonder: Can you buy Otomize ear spray over the counter?

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the accessibility of Otomize ear spray, exploring whether it’s available without a prescription.

What is Otomize ear spray?

Otomize ear spray for otitis media

Otomize ear spray is a medication used to treat infections and inflammation of the outer ear canal, a condition known as otitis externa. It is available as a spray solution and is administered directly into the ear canal. Otomize ear spray contains three active ingredients:

Neomycin: Neomycin is an antibiotic that works by killing or inhibiting the growth of bacteria. In Otomize ear spray, neomycin helps to treat bacterial infections that may be present in the outer ear canal.

Dexamethasone: Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid medication that helps reduce inflammation and swelling in the ear canal. It helps relieve symptoms such as pain, redness, and itching associated with otitis externa.

Acetic acid: Acetic acid is included in Otomize as an acidic solution that helps create an unfavourable environment for the growth of bacteria and fungi. It also aids in dissolving excessive earwax, which can contribute to the development of outer ear infections.

Otomize spray is licensed for adults and children over 2 years of age.

What is otitis externa?

Otitis externa, in simple language, is an infection or inflammation that happens in the outer ear canal, causing painitchingredness, and sometimes even swelling of the affected part of the ear. People often get otitis externa from water getting trapped in their ears after swimming or from scratching their ears with an object. It is commonly called swimmer’s ear because swimmers are more likely to get it.

What is the recommended treatment of otitis externa?

NICE’s self-care recommendations for alleviating symptoms and minimizing the risk of another infection include (NICE, 2023): 

Protect the External Ear Canal from Harm:

To prevent damage to the ear canal, remove ear wax cautiously. Avoid using cotton swabs or any other objects for ear cleaning.

Maintain Ear Cleanliness and Dryness:

Refrain from engaging in swimming and water-related activities for a period of 7–10 days while undergoing treatment.

When swimming, consider wearing earplugs or a snug swim cap.

Block water from entering the ears during baths or showers by using ear plugs or cotton wool coated in petroleum jelly.

After washing your hair, bathing, or swimming, you can gently dry your ear canal with a hair dryer set to a low heat.

Over the counter treatment of otitis externa 

For individuals aged 12 and older, individuals should consider the use of over-the-counter acetic acid 2% ear drops or spray. Apply it in the morning, evening, and after any activity involving water exposure, but limit the treatment to a maximum of 7 days.

If needed use paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain relief.  

Can you buy Otomize ear spray over the counter?

Otomize ear spray is classified as a prescription-only medication (POM). POM medicines need to be prescribed by a doctor or another qualified prescriber, which means that Otomize ear spray cannot be purchased over the counter.

Is there an alternative to Otomize ear spray which can be purchased over the counter?

Over the counter EarCalm as Otomize alternative

One product which is licensed for the treatment of otitis externa can be purchased without a prescription in pharmacies. EarCalm spray is a medication used to relieve the symptoms of minor ear infections and irritation. It is specifically designed to treat otitis externa.

EarCalm spray contains the active ingredient acetic acid, which helps to create an acidic environment in the ear canal. This acidic environment makes it difficult for bacteria and fungi to grow, helping to clear up the infection. Additionally, acetic acid can help to dissolve excessive earwax, which can contribute to the development of ear infections.

Over the counter EarCalm can be used by adults and children over 12 years of age (emc, 2023).

Conclusion: Can you buy Otomize ear spray over the counter?

Otomize ear spray cannot be purchased over the counter as it is classified as a prescription-only medication.


Emc (2023). SmPC: EarCalm Spray. Available at: Accessed on 26/02/2024

NICE (2023). Scenario: Acute otitis externa. Available at: Accessed on 26/02/2024


I am a qualified pharmacist working in an independent pharmacy in the UK.
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