Acute conjunctivitis is a bacterial infection known as 'red eye', with symptoms including reddening of the white part of the eye and a sticky discharge appearing in the eye in the mornings. This and other eye infections can be treated with the antibiotic ointment Chloramphenicol.
Antibiotics such as Chloramphenicol work by preventing bacteria from growing. As such, this medication is only effective in treating bacterial eye infections. It will have no effect on other kinds of eye infections.
Chloramphenicol is an example of a broad-spectrum antibiotic, meaning it will be effective against a variety of different infections caused by different types of bacteria.
The way Chloramphenicol stops growth of bacteria is by stopping the bacteria from producing essential proteins. These proteins are necessary for the bacteria to reproduce. Thus, use of Chloramphenicol limits bacteria population growth, allowing the immune system to kill off all of the bacteria before they can reproduce.
To combat infections such as bacterial conjunctivitis, Chloramphenicol is applied directly into the eye where the bacteria causing the infection are located.
Both Chloramphenicol products, eye drops and eye ointment, can be used together. When using both products, eye drops should be applied during the day, and the eye ointment should be applied before sleeping. The course of this treatment is five days.
- Do not use Chloramphenicol eye drops or eye ointment for more than five days without consulting a doctor.
- If symptoms do not improve within two days of using Chloramphenicol, consult a doctor.
- If another eye infection appears during a course of Chloramphenicol, consult a doctor.
- If symptoms worsen during a course of Chloramphenicol, seek medical advice immediately.
- Always finish a course of Chloramphenicol unless instructed otherwise by a doctor. If the course is not completed, the chance of the infection coming back and growing resistent to antibiotics raises dramatically.
- Avoid making contact between the eye drops dropper or the eye ointment tube tip with any surface, including eyes. This is to avoid contamination of the medicine.
- There is no need to refrigerate Chloramphenicol eye ointment.