Read answers to the most frequently asked questions about Otinova.

How long can you use Otinova for?
Otinova® can be used as soon as you have symptoms and then after until they subside. Some find that during periods of increased risk or exposure to water such as swimming/aquatic sports holidays they use Otinova intermittently.

If your symptoms do not improve after 1-3 days of treatment you should contact your doctor. Salt precipitation in, and severe dehydration of, the ear canal may occur with overdosing and/or long-term use.

Do not use Otinova® for a continuous period of more than 7 days.

Can you use Otinova® during pregnancy and when breast-feeding?
No specific studies in pregnant or lactating women have been conducted, and therefore Otinova® should be used with caution. To be absolutely certain you should avoid using Otinova® during pregnancy and when breast-feeding.

Burow’s solution however, which Otinova® contains, has been used for a long time and is described in the pharmacopoeia. The use, effectiveness and safety of Burow’s solution is documented in several clinical studies. We know of no reports describing adverse effects in pregnant or lactating women. The probability that Otinova® could affect foetal development or pass into breast milk is considered very small.

How long does a bottle of Otinova® last?
Each dose of spray contains 0.1 ml and an Otinova® bottle contains 150 spray doses.

Once opened the bottle can be kept and reused for up to 6 months.

Why does Otinova® smell?
Otinova® contains acetic acid, which has a characteristic odour. The smell usually disappears quickly after use.
How do you treat a suspected ear canal inflammation?
Start using Otinova® immediately when you first notice symptoms such as itchiness or irritation. The treatment starts to work immediately.

During periods of increased risk of developing otitis externa, e.g. beach holidays, it is valuable to start using Otinova® as early as possible.

How fast do the symptoms subside when treating with Otinova?
The effect is usually very quick but if symptoms persist after 1-3 days you should consult with your doctor.
Why does the ear canal sometimes feel “crunchy” when having used Otinova?
Salt crystals precipitate when Otinova® solution evaporates. The crystals may feel a bit “crunchy” but are completely harmless. This sometime occurs when over using the product or after long term use.
How does Otinova® differ from other ear products, for example, prescription antibiotic/steroid drops, acetic acid solution and alsol solution/alsol-alcohol?
Otinova® is an astringent, antibacterial and antifungal solution that does not contain antibiotics or steroids. Otinova® can therefore often be used instead of prescription ear preparations for the treatment of ear canal inflammation.

Acetic acid (2% or 4%) and alsol solution / spirits are sometimes used in ear canal inflammation. Otinova® contains 8% acetic acid and approximately 20 times more aluminum salts compared to other sole solution / spirits.

What is Burow’s solution?
As early as the mid-19th century Karl August Burow showed that using lead acetate and alum in water gave rise to a solution of aluminium acetate. Burow used this to treat open wounds. For many years, until the advent of antibiotics, Burows’ solution was commonly used to treat insect bites, various skin lesions and ear canal inflammation.


  1. Jinnouchi O et al. Antimicrobial and therapeutic effects of modified Burow’s solution on refractory otorrhea. Auris Nasus Larynx. 2012;39:374-377.
  2. Kashiwamura M et al. The efficacy of Burow’s solution as an ear preparation for the treatment of chronic ear infections. Otol Neurotol. 2004;25:9-13.
  3. Hyo Y et al. Antimicrobial effects of Burow’s solution on Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Med Mol Morphol. 2012;45:66-71.
  4. Clayton MI et al. A double-blind, randomized, prospective trial of a topical antiseptic versus a topical antibiotic in the treatment of otorrhoea. Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci 1990, 15, 7-10.
  5. Lambert IJ et al. A comparison of the treatment of otitis externa with “Otosporin” and aluminium acetate: a report from a services practice in Cyprus. J Royal Coll General Pract 1981; 31: 291-294.
  6. Engström et al.  Erfarenheter av Burows lösning i sprayform vid extern otit, Svensk ÖNH-tidskrift nr.3 2014.
  7. Örnhagen et al. External otitis – Burow’s solution returns to favour, Allmänmedicin nr.2 2013.
  8. Rosenfeld et al. Clinical Practice Guideline US: Acute Otitis Externa. American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2014, vol.150 (IS) S1-S24.

If you have any other questions that are not covered here please feel free to contact us.

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