OPTREX INFECTED EYE OINTMENT
Active substance(s): CHLORAMPHENICOL
NAME OF THE MEDICINAL PRODUCT
Optrex Infected Eye Ointment
When sold by Boots The Chemist, the name will be Boots Pharmacy
Antibiotic Eye Ointment
QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE COMPOSITION
Chloramphenicol 1.0% w/w.
Each 1 gram of ointment contains 10mg chloramphenicol
For excipients, see 6.1.
Treatment of acute bacterial conjunctivitis.
Posology and method of administration
Topical administration to the eye only.
Adults, children aged 2 years and over and elderly
The recommended dose is a small amount of ointment (~ 1cm) to be applied to
the affected eye(s). The ointment should be applied either at night if eye drops
are used during the day, or 3 to 4 times a day if eye ointment is used alone
The pharmacist will advise on the most suitable treatment. Treatment should
continue for 5 days even if symptoms improve.
Chloramphenicol eye ointment must not be administered to:
• Patients who have a history of hypersensitivity to chloramphenicol or
to any other ingredient of the ointment.
• Patients who have experienced myelosuppression during previous
exposure to chloramphenicol.
• Patients with a family history of blood dyscrasias.
Special warnings and precautions for use
Chloramphenicol is absorbed systemically from the eye and systemic toxicity
has been reported (see section 4.8).
In severe bacterial conjunctivitis and in cases where infection is not confined
to the conjunctivae, the topical use of chloramphenicol should be
supplemented by appropriate systemic treatment. Therefore, the patient
should be referred to seek medical advice.
The use of topical chloramphenicol may occasionally result in overgrowth of
non-susceptible organisms including fungi. If any new infection appears
during treatment, the patient should be referred to the doctor.
Prolonged or frequent intermittent topical application of chloramphenicol
should be avoided since it may increase the likelihood of sensitisation and
emergence of resistant organisms.
Do not use for more than 5 days without consulting your doctor.
The label will state:
• If symptoms do not improve within 48 hours talk to your doctor
• Seek further immediate medical advice at any time if symptoms worsen
• Do not use if you are allergic to chloramphenicol or any of the ingredients
• Discard any remaining eye ointment after the five day course of treatment
For external use only.
Keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children.
Patients should be referred to a doctor if any of the following apply:
Any significant pain within the eye
Eye inflammation associated with a rash on the scalp or face
The eye looks cloudy
The pupil looks unusual
Suspected foreign body in the eye
Patients should also be referred to their doctor if any of the following in
his/her medical history apply:
Previous conjunctivitis in the recent past
Dry eye syndrome
Eye surgery or laser treatment in the last 6 months
Current use of other eye drops or eye ointment
If you wear contact lenses, seek advice either from your optometrist, contact
lens practitioner or doctor before you use this product. 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
using the eye ointment.
Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction
Bone marrow depressant drugs
Pregnancy and lactation
The safety of chloramphenicol eye drops during pregnancy and lactation has
not been established. As this product is for sale without prescription it is not
recommended for use during pregnancy.
In view of the fact that chloramphenicol may appear in breast milk, use of the
product during lactation should be avoided.
Effects on ability to drive and use machines
Blurring of vision can occur with the ointment and patients should be warned
not to drive or operate machinery unless their vision is clear.
Transient burning or stinging sensations may occur with the use of
chloramphenicol eye ointment. Serious side effects include hypersensitivity
reactions that may manifest as angioneurotic oedema, anaphylaxis, urticaria,
fever, and vesicular and maculopapular dermatitis. Treatment must be
discontinued immediately in such cases.
Bone marrow depression, including the idiosyncratic type of irreversible and
fatal aplastic anaemia that is recognised to occur with systemic therapy, has
been reported in association with topical administration of chloramphenicol.
In view of the relatively small amount of chloramphenicol in chloramphenicol
eye ointment, overdosage with this product is unlikely to constitute a hazard.
If irritation, pain, swelling, lacrimation or photophobia occur after undesired
eye contact, the exposed eye(s) should be irrigated for at least 15 minutes. If
symptoms persist after this, an opthalmological examination should be
Chloramphenicol is a potent inhibitor of bacterial protein synthesis, and exerts
its effects by interfering with the transfer of activated amino acids from
soluble RNA to ribosomes.
Escherichia coli, Haemophilus influenzae, Staphyloccus aureus, Streptococcus
haemolyticus, Morax anenfeld, Klebsiella/Enterobacter species and others.
Entrobacteriaceae are variably resistant while Pseudomonas and Mycobacteria
are usually resistant.
Chloramphenicol enters the aqueous humour following topical application.
Chloramphenicol is widely distributed in body tissues and fluids: it enters the
CSF, giving concentrations of about 50% of those existing in the blood even in
the absence of inflamed meninges; it diffuses across the placenta into the fetal
circulation, into breast milk, and into the aqueous and vitreous humour of the
eye. Up to about 60% in the circulation is bound to plasma protein. The halflife of chloramphenicol has been reported to range from 1.5 to 4 hours; the
half-life is prolonged in patients with severe hepatic impairment and is also
much longer in neonates. Renal impairment has relatively little effect on the
half-life of the active drug, due to its extensive metabolism, but may lead to
accumulation of the inactive metabolites. Chloramphenicol is excreted mainly
The absorption, metabolism, and excretion of chloramphenicol are subject to
considerable interindividual variation, especially in infants and children,
making monitoring of plasma concentrations necessary to determine
pharmacokinetic in a given patient.
Preclinical safety data
Preclinical safety data does not add anything of further significance to the
List of excipients
Polyethylene in Mineral Oil (Plastibase 50W
Special precautions for storage
Do not store above 25°C.
Although the shelf life once opened is 28 days, patients will be advised to
discard the medicine after a 5 day course of treatment.
Nature and contents of container
4 gm laminated tube fitted with an ophthalmic nozzle and screw cap
Special precautions for disposal
MARKETING AUTHORISATION HOLDER
1 Thane Road West
MARKETING AUTHORISATION NUMBER(S)
DATE OF FIRST AUTHORISATION/RENEWAL OF THE
DATE OF REVISION OF THE TEXT
Source: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
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