Bacterial Conjunctivitis Treatment
Treatment for bacterial conjunctivitis usually includes antibiotic eyedrops or ointment, but may also require treatment with oral antibiotics. Some types of bacterial conjunctivitis that occur in a newborn require oral or intravenous (IV) antibiotics. With treatment, bacterial conjunctivitis usually resolves within 2 weeks.
Treatment for bacterial conjunctivitis includes:
- Wash out the eyes several times per day.
- Use saline eye wash.
- Apply cool compresses to the eyes.
- Clean your eyelashes gently with a warm wet compress.
- Antibiotic eye drops or eye ointment:
- Sodium sulfacetamide (Bleph-10, Cetamide, AK-Sulf)
- Gentamicin (Genoptic, Ocumycin)
- Erythromycin ointment (E-Mycin)
- Azithromycin ophthalmic (AzaSite)
- Bacitracin (AK-Tracin, Baciguent)
- Ciprofloxacin (Ciloxan)
- Levofloxacin (Quixin)
- Ofloxacin (Ocuflox)
- Gatifloxacin ophthalmic solution 0.3% (Zymar)
- Tobramycin (Tobrex)
- Besifloxacin ophthalmic (Besivance)
- Trimethoprim and polymyxin B (Polytrim)
- Oral antibiotics will be required for infections that are due to gonorrhea or chlamydia:
- Injectable antibiotics
Bacterial Conjunctivitis Drugs
Bacterial conjunctivitis is treated with antibiotic eye drops or eye ointment. For severe, infections, antibiotics may also be given by mouth or by injection.
Antibiotics used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis:
Bacterial Conjunctivitis Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Bacterial Conjunctivitis Specialist
Continue to Bacterial Conjunctivitis Home Care
- Mabey D, Fraser-Hurt N, Powell C. Antibiotics for trachoma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Apr 18;(2):CD001860. 
- Schiebel NE. Evidence-based emergency medicine/systematic review abstract. Use of antibiotics in patients with acute bacterial conjunctivitis. Ann Emerg Med. 2003 Mar;41(3):407-9. 
- Smith J. Bacterial conjunctivitis. Clin Evid. 2004 Dec;(12):926-32.