NHS Dudley Health Economy Medicines Formulary
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11.3.1 Antibacterials

General Guidance

  • Chloramphenicol has a broad spectrum of activity and is the drug choice for superficial eye infections. The drug is generally well tolerated, concerns regarding aplastic anaemia is mainly extrapolated from oral data and therefore unlikely to be relevant.
  • Recently several 4-quinolone eye drop preparations have become available. It would seem prudent to reserve these antibiotics for cases which specifically require these agents.
  • Fusidic acid is useful for staphylococcal infections.
  • Many antibiotic preparations also incorporate a corticosteroid, these products should NOT be used unless the patient is under specialist supervision. They should not be used for undiagnosed “red eye” which may be due to herpes simplex virus.

Recommended drugs

Chloramphenicol eye drops or eye ointment

Fusidic acid (Fucithalmic) eye drops


Drug Traffic Light Key:

Green – On Formulary

Amber – Restricted use, see local guidelines      

Purple – Specialist use/initiation

Red – Non Formulary


Relative Costs Key (where indicated):

£££££ - high

£££ - moderate

£ - low

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