Results of the use of ampicillin, penicillin G and symptomatic therapy in the treatment of acute otitis media in 142 children were compared. Antibiotic therapy conveyed significant benefit. No major differences were observed between penicillin and ampicillin, except in the age group under 3 years where ampicillin was associated with the best results. Ampicillin appears to be the drug of choice. Its superiority over symptomatic therapy was statistically significant. Long-term sequelae were not observed in any of the three treatment groups. The relative merits of erythromycin and ampicillin require further study.