Review of Antibacterial Drugs Used for Treatment of Ocular Infections

Diane P. Yolton, PhD, OD, FAOO

COPE #13036-AS

Expires December 1, 2008

3 credits, $59

Section: Systemic Medications


The eyes and adnexa are constantly exposed to a variety of bacteria. In most cases, the bacteria do not produce infection because the skin, mucous membranes, and the immune system provide effective barriers against infection. However, some bacteria can penetrate these defenses and cause an infection. When this happens, an antibacterial drug (e.g., an antibiotic) can help the immune system kill the bacteria.

Choosing an antibiotic requires knowledge about the bugs as well as the drugs. This course describes the epidemiology of ocular infections as well as drug actions, spectra of activity, resistance, clinical uses, and potential side-effects for each of the major antibacterial drugs categories.

At the end of the course, a summary table (Table 1) is provided that lists antibacterial drugs of choice and dosages for initial treatment of the most common ocular infections.