Posted on 21st July 2014
Fortunately, eyes are a special case. Drops used on the surface of the eye (termed ‘topical’ as opposed to ‘oral’ or ‘intravenous’) very rarely contribute to any resistance problems and in fact the main stay of infection treatment in eyes, chloramphenicol for bacterial conjunctivitis, has been heavily in use since 1950s and is still going strong.
One of the main issues with this drug is that it penetrates the eye pretty poorly so has to be put in quite often. A typical treatment does is every 2 hours for the first day then 4-6 times a day for 4 days. This is quite a burden if you are trying to put it in children or have trouble putting drops in yourself.
However there has now appeared a new drop called Azyter which is a drug called azithromycin. This was discovered in the 1980s and is widely used orally but is relatively new to use in the eyes. It has proven to be very effective and the dose is a much more manageable 2 times per day for only 3 days.
Because it’s much more powerful, Azyter is available only on prescription from an independent prescribing optometrist where chloramphenicol is available over the counter. Both Gillian and myself are qualified to prescribe this and Claire is undertaking the required training as we speak so you might well find us recommending this is you’ve got conjunctivitis.
Bear in mind there are many things that feel and look like bacterial conjunctivitis to the untrained eye that may require a different treatment so always come in and see us rather than your GP or just buying the drops from a pharmacy.
26th May 2020
Last week we provided advice on how to prevent your child suffering from digital eyestrain. This week, we're looking at adults, in particular those working from home (most of us at the moment!). Ian...Read more
30th April 2020
If you have an issue with your eye, while we aren’t able to see you in person, we might suggest you send us images for us to take a look at. It is important that the images are the best possible qua...Read more