Which antibiotics should be used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye)?

Updated: Jan 03, 2019
  • Author: Karen K Yeung, OD, FAAO; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
  • Print

For mild and non–vision-threatening bacterial conjunctivitis, older-generation antibiotics should be used. Later-generation antibiotics should be reserved for more serious infections to minimize creation of bacterial resistance in the ocular surface flora. [23] For moderate to severe bacterial conjunctivitis, the latest-generation fluoroquinolones provide excellent gram-negative and some gram-positive bacterial coverage. Fortified antibiotics are also used in severe cases. Systemic antibiotics are indicated for N gonorrhoeae and chlamydial infections. Surgical intervention is required only when indicated for the treatment of causative conditions, such as hordeolum, nasolacrimal duct obstruction, or sinusitis.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!