What are the most effective Pink Eye remedies and Conjuctivitis medications?

This page focuses on the various medications used by doctors and hospitals for the treatment of Conjunctivitis. However, most cases of infective conjunctivitis do not require medical treatment and will heal without treatment in one to two weeks.

Antimicrobial Therapy for Conjunctivitis.

Treatment with antimicrobials and symptomatic therapy is recommended for all patients initially presenting to the emergency department (ED) with simple conjunctivitis. Numerous topical antimicrobial agents may be used, including topical sulfacetamide, erythromycin, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, or ofloxacin. Instill drops every 2 hours. An ointment can be used at night or every 4-6 hours throughout the day.

Ophthalmic antibiotics for Conjunctivitis.

Antibiotics are not usually prescribed for infective conjunctivitis, unless the infection is severe. Ophthalmic antibiotics are used for severe infectious conjunctivitis.

Aa new drug, besifloxacin, has proved to be more effective for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis. Clinical studies showed that patients randomized to besifloxacin ophthalmic suspension 0.6% experienced significantly higher rates of succesful treatment. Besifloxacin was found to be as effective and well tolerated as moxifloxacin ophthalmic solution 0.5%.

Other popular Antibiotics for Pink Eye includes:

  • chloramphenicol
  • fusidic acid


Chloramphenicol is the first choice of antibiotic to be used for severe infective conjunctivitis. It is usually in the form of an eye drop and is used as follows:

  • Put one drop in the infected eye every two hours for the first two days.
  • Put one drop in the infected eye every four hours for the next five days.

You only need to use the drops while you are awake. If your symptoms improve within the first five days, continue to use the eye drops for another two days.

If eye drops are not suitable for you, you may be prescribed this antibiotic as an eye ointment instead.

Fusidic acid

Fusidic acid may be prescribed if chloramphenicol is not suitable for you. For example, fusidic acid may be better for children or the elderly as it does not need to be used as frequently. It is also the preferred treatment for women who are pregnant.

Fusidic acid comes in the form of eye drops, which are normally used twice a day for seven days.

Systemic antibiotics for Chlamydial Conjunctivitis.

Gonococcal conjunctivitis is part of a systemic disease, thus requiring systemic treatment. Inpatient medical regimens include cefoxitin, ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, or spectinomycin. Patients who have chlamydia should be treated with tetracycline, doxycycline, azithromycin, or erythromycin. Outpatient therapy is acceptable in less serious cases in which compliance can be ensured and includes intravenous ceftriaxone (50 mg/kg, not to exceed 1 g) followed by doxycycline 100 mg twice a day or erythromycin 500 mg qid.

Chlamydial conjunctivitis can be treated with doxycycline 100 mg twice a day for 10 days or azithromycin 1 g. Topical therapy with erythromycin also is recommended.

Further treatment

If you still have symptoms after two weeks, it is very important to go back to your GP. See the sections for “Pink Eye Treatment” and “Pink Eye Home Remedy” for information on what you can do if you or your child have mild conjunctivitis.