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Active substance(s): CHLORAMPHENICOL

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Antibiotic 1% w/w

Chloramphenicol Eye Ointment

Patient Information Leaflet

Read all the leaflet carefully because it contains important information for you. This medicine is
available without a prescription. However, you still need to use it carefully to get the best results
from it. Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again. Ask your pharmacist if you need more
information or advice. You must contact a doctor if your symptoms get worse or do not improve.
If any of the side effects gets serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet,
please tell your doctor or pharmacist.
In this leaflet:
1. What your medicine is and what it is used for
2. Before you use your medicine
3. How to use your medicine
4. Possible side effects
5. Storing your medicine
6. Further information
Chloramphenicol belongs to a group of
medicines called antibiotics. Antibiotics are
used for infections caused by bacteria.
Chloramphenicol eye ointment is for simple
eye infections called “acute bacterial
conjunctivitis”. This is sometimes known
as “red eye” because the white part of the
affected eye(s) will be red and/or the eyelid(s)
will be red or swollen. There may also be a
sticky discharge which can make the eye
difficult to open in the morning, and the eye
may feel ‘gritty’ or ‘irritated’.
Do not use the ointment and talk to your doctor
or pharmacist if:
• You are allergic to chloramphenicol or anything
else in the ointment. Everything in the ointment
is listed in Section 6 “Further Information”.
• You or a member of your family has had
problems with their blood or bone marrow.
These problems can include a severe reduction
in red blood cells or lower than normal blood
• The person needing to use the ointment is
under 2 years of age.
Do not use the ointment and talk to your
doctor or pharmacist straight away if any of
the following apply to you:
• Your eye is painful (rather than just feeling sore
or gritty) or you have pain or swelling around
the eye or face.
• Your sight is affected by loss of vision, reduced
or blurred vision or you see halos around
• It is too painful to open your eyes properly.
• Your pupil (the black circle in the centre of your
eye) looks different. It may be torn, not round,
very big or does not change size in the light.

• Your eye looks cloudy.
• You have had an eye infection in the past
• You have glaucoma (high pressure inside your
• You have “dry eye syndrome”.
• You have injured your eye.
• You think there may be something in your eye
or you have splashed something in your eye.
• You are already using other eye drops or eye
• You have had eye surgery or laser treatment in
the last 6 months.
If you wear contact lenses, seek advice either
from your contact lens practitioner (optician,
optometrist) or doctor before you use this
• You should not wear your contact lenses during
the course of treatment.
• If you wear soft contact lenses do not start
wearing them for at least 24 hours after you
have finished the eye ointment.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking
any other medicines, especially:
• Other eye ointments or eye drops.
• Medicines which may affect your bone
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant,
breast-feeding or trying to become pregnant.
If you become pregnant while using this ointment,
stop using it and see your doctor.
Important information about some of the
ingredients of this medicine
This ointment contains wool fat. This may cause
a skin reaction around the eyes such as “contact
Driving and using machinery
The ointment may cause blurred vision due to
smearing or stinging.
• This will only happen for a short period after it
is put in your eye.
• If this happens do not drive or use machinery
until you can see clearly.
Continued over the page

Chloramphenicol eye ointment is used by
placing a small amount (about 1 cm) in the
space between the lower eyelid and the eye.
Always follow your pharmacist’s instructions.
• Do not take it by mouth.
• Do not use for children under 2 years of age.
Adults and children aged 2 years and over:
A course of treatment lasts 5 days:
• If the eye ointment is being used alone,
squeeze a thin line of ointment inside the
lower eyelid of each affected eye 3 to 4 times
a day. This means that you should use it
about every 4 - 6 hours.
• If you are using chloramphenicol eye drops
during the day and the eye ointment at night
- apply the ointment at night, before going to
Your pharmacist will advise which is the most
suitable treatment for you.
When using the ointment
• Wash your hands before and after using the
• Sit or stand in front of a mirror.
• Take off the tube cap.
• Tilt head gently backwards.
• Gently pull lower eyelid down.

• Gently squeezing the

tube, put about 1 cm of

ointment into the space

between the lower eyelid

and the eye.
• Let go of the eyelid and
blink a few times. This will help spread the
ointment over the eye.
• Try not to touch the eye, eyelashes, or
anything else with the tip of the tube.
• Repeat for the other eye, if affected.
• Replace cap securely after use.
It is important to complete the course of
treatment even if your eyes feel better.
Talk to your doctor immediately if:
• Your eyes get worse at any time
• There is no improvement within 2 days
Do not repeat the course of treatment without
consulting your doctor or pharmacist.
If you miss a dose, use the ointment as directed
above and then continue your normal course of
Do not share your eye ointment with anyone
If the contents of this tube are swallowed,
contact your doctor straight away or go to your
nearest hospital casualty department. Take
with you the tube and container so that the
medicine can be identified.

Most people use chloramphenicol eye ointment
without any problems, but it can have side
effects, like all medicines. Side effects that
may occur include:
Reactions on or around the eye which are
• stinging or burning.
• irritation or itching.
• inflammation of the skin (dermatitis).
The following side effects are very rare
(affect less than 1 person in 10,000):
Blood disorders including:
• severe reduction in red blood cells (also
called aplastic anaemia), which may cause
weakness or breathlessness.
• lower than normal blood cell counts (bone
marrow depression) which may cause fever,
joint pain or repeated infections.
Grey baby syndrome in newborns and
• low blood pressure.
• vomiting.
• blue colouring of the lips and pale “grey”
If you have any of these symptoms, or have any
other unusual symptoms or concerns with your
medicine, stop using it and see your doctor or
pharmacist straight away.
• Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight
of children.
• Sterile until opened.
• Do not store above 25°C.
• Do not use it after the expiry date shown on
the tube and carton.
• Discard any unused eye ointment
after completing your 5 day course of
treatment or return it to your pharmacist.
Do not use the eye ointment if you
notice any signs of deterioration.
The name of your medicine is Golden Eye
Antibiotic 1% w/w Chloramphenicol Eye
This medicine contains the active ingredient
Chloramphenicol 1% w/w. Other ingredients
are Liquid Paraffin, Wool Fat and Yellow Soft
Each tube contains 4 grams of smooth yellow
eye ointment.
Manufacturer and Marketing Authorisation
Holder: Martindale Pharmaceuticals, Bampton
Road, Romford, RM3 8UG, England.
Text prepared: April 2007.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.