What Are Ophthalmic Antibiotics and How Do They Work?
Ophthalmic antibiotics are ointments or solutions that are used to treat and prevent bacterial infections in the eyes. Antibiotics stop the bacteria from growing by preventing them from using amino acids and other organic compounds to synthesize certain proteins and folic acid, which are essential for bacterial growth.
Ophthalmic antibiotics are effective against the most common gram-positive bacteria, and a few gram-negative bacteria, but are ineffective against fungal infections. Bacteria are broadly classified as gram-positive or gram-negative, based on whether they get stained by a dye used in a laboratory test known as the Gram stain test.
How Are Ophthalmic Antibiotics Used?
Ophthalmic antibiotics are used in the treatment of eye infections caused by gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococci, Streptococci and Escherichia coli and gram-negative bacteria such as Chlamydia trachomatis.
Ophthalmic antibiotics are used to treat:
- Bacterial eye infections
- Conjunctivitis/pink eye (inflammation of the whites of the eyes and the inner surface of eyelids)
- Trachoma (contagious infection in the eyelid's inner surface, caused by Chlamydia trachomatis)
What Are Side Effects of Ophthalmic Antibiotics?
Side effects of ophthalmic antibiotics may include:
- Blurred vision
- Eye irritation and itching
- Eye pain, burning and stinging
- Diaphoresis (sweating)
- Lack of appetite
- Blood dyscrasia (abnormality in the blood)
- Rectal itching
- Hypersensitivity and allergic reaction
- Myopia (shortsightedness)
- Burning conjunctivitis
- Conjunctival hyperemia (dilation of blood vessels in the conjunctiva)
- Corneal ulcers (open sore on the cornea, the thin clear layer over the iris-the colored part of the eye)
The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.
What Are Names of Ophthalmic Antibiotic Drugs?
- Ophthalmic bacitracin (Bacitracin Ophthalmic Ointment)
- Ophthalmic sulfacetamide (Bleph 10, Sodium Sulamyd)
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