Otitis media with effusion (OME) is characterised by an accumulation of fluid in the middle ear behind an intact tympanic membrane, without the symptoms or signs of acute infection. In approximately one in three children with OME, however, a bacterial pathogen is identified in the middle ear fluid. In most cases, OME causes mild hearing impairment of short duration. When experienced in early life and when episodes of (bilateral) OME persist or recur, the associated hearing loss may be significant and have a negative impact on speech development and behaviour. Since most cases of OME will resolve spontaneously, only children with persistent middle ear effusion and associated hearing loss potentially require treatment. Previous Cochrane reviews have focused on the effectiveness of ventilation tube insertion, adenoidectomy, autoinflation, antihistamines, decongestants, and oral and topical intranasal steroids in OME. This review focuses on the effectiveness of antibiotics in children with OME.