Bacterial Conjunctivitis Treatments

Generic Brand Strength Size Form Dose
azithromycin Azasite Rx 1% 2.5mL soln¹ <1yr: Not established.
≥1yr: 1 drop twice daily (8−12hrs apart) for 2 days, then once daily for 5 days.
bacitracin Bacitracin Ophthalmic Ointment Rx 500U/g 3.5g oint Adults and Children: Apply 1−3 times daily.
Blepharitis: remove scales and crusts before applying to lid margins.
besifloxacin Besivance Rx 0.6% 5mL susp¹ <1yr: Not established.
≥1yr: 1 drop in affected eye(s) 3 times daily (4−12hrs apart) for 7 days. Shake bottle once before use.
ciprofloxacin Ciloxan Rx 0.3% 3.5g oint <2yrs: Not established.
≥2yrs: Apply ½ inch into conjunctival sac 3 times daily for 2 days, then twice daily for next 5 days.
5mL soln¹ Adults and Children: 1–2 drops in conjunctival sac(s) every 2hrs while awake for 2 days, then 1–2 drops every 4hrs while awake for next 5 days.
mycin Ophthalmic Ointment
Rx 5mg/g 3.5g oint Adults and Children: Apply 1cm ribbon of ointment to infected area up to 6 times daily. Prophylaxis of neonatal gonoccocal or chlamydial conjunctivitis: instill 1cm ribbon of ointment into each lower conjunctival sac.
gatifloxacin Zymaxid Rx 0.5% 2.5mL soln¹ <1yr: Not established.
≥1yr: 1 drop every 2hrs (max 8 doses) on Day 1 then 1 drop 2−4 times daily while awake on Days 2−7.
gentamicin sulfate Rx 0.3% contact supplier soln¹ Adults and Children: 1 or 2 drops in affected eye(s) every 4hrs. Severe infections: Up to 2 drops once every hour.
Gentak Rx 0.3% 3.5g oint Adults and Children: Apply a ½ inch of ointment 2−3 times daily.
levofloxacin Rx 0.5% contact supplier soln¹ <6yrs: Not established.
≥6yrs: 1−2 drops every 2hrs while awake (max 8 times/day) on Days 1 and 2, then 1−2 drops every 4hrs while awake (max 4 times/day) on Days 3−7.
moxifloxacin Moxeza Rx 0.5% 3mL soln <4mos: Not established.
≥4mos: 1 drop twice daily for 7 days.
Vigamox Rx 0.5% 3mL soln Adults and Children: 1 drop 3 times daily for 7 days.
ofloxacin Ocuflox Rx 0.3% 5mL soln¹ <1yr: Not established.
≥1yr: 1−2 drops every 2−4hrs for 2 days, then 4 times daily for 5 more days.
polymyxin B sulfate Rx 10000U/g contact supplier oint Adults and Children: Apply every 3−4hrs for 7−10 days.
bacitracin zinc 500U/g
polymyxin B sulfate Rx 10000U/g contact supplier oint Adults and Children: Apply every 4hrs for 7−10 days.
bacitracin zinc 400U/g
neomycin (as sulfate) 3.5mg/g
polymyxin B sulfate Neosporin Rx 10000U/
10mL soln³ Children: Not recommended.
Adults: 1−2 drops every 4hrs for 7−10 days. Max up to 2 drops every hour.
neomycin sulfate 1.75mg/
gramicidin 0.025mg/
polymyxin B sulfate Polytrim Rx 10000U/
10mL soln¹ <2mos: Not recommended.
≥2mos: 1 drop every 3hrs for 7−10 days; max 6 doses/day.
Bleph‑10 Rx 10% 5mL soln¹ <2mos: Not recommended.
≥2mos: Initially 1−2 drops every 2−3hrs during the day (less often at night). Treat for 7−10 days.
tobramycin Tobrex Rx 0.3% 3.5g oint² <2mos: Not established. ≥2mos: Mild to moderate infections: 1–2 drops every 4hrs or ½ inch of ointment 2–3 times daily. Severe infections: 2 drops every hr or ½ inch of ointment every 3–4hrs until improvement; then reduce before discontinuing.
5mL soln¹

Do not wear contact lenses with signs and symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis. To prevent contamination, the dropper tip should not touch the eyelids or surrounding areas. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
¹contains benzalkonium chloride. May be absorbed by soft contact lenses.
²contains chlorobutanol.
³contains alcohol, thimerosal.

Not an inclusive list of medications, official indications, and/or dosing. Please see drug monograph at and/or contact company for full drug labeling.

(Rev. 2/2020)

This article originally appeared on MPR