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Results of a survey of children with acute bacterial conjunctivitis treated with trimethoprim-polymyxin B ophthalmic solution.

Author(s): Wagner RS

Affiliation(s): University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Newark, USA.

Publication date & source: 1995-09, Clin Ther., 17(5):875-81.

Acute conjunctivitis, one of the most frequently seen eye diseases in infants and children, is associated with a shorter duration of clinical disease when antimicrobial agents are used. Although viruses often are implicated as causative agents, Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae are the most commonly isolated bacterial pathogens. Empiric therapy of acute conjunctivitis therefore should include agents with both gram-positive and gram-negative antimicrobial activity. Trimethoprim-polymyxin B is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent available as an ophthalmic solution. We conducted a patient outcomes study to evaluate the subjective response to treatment with trimethoprim-polymyxin B of children with presumed acute bacterial conjunctivitis. Questionnaires were distributed to more than 100 pediatricians who assessed outcome measures in 472 children with acute bacterial conjunctivitis for whom they prescribed trimethoprim-polymyxin B. The parameters evaluated were clinical outcome, overall efficacy, and comfort provided by the medication regimen. The physicians reported that 95% of the infected eyes were cured or improved within 7 days. In addition, the overall efficacy trimethoprim-polymyxin B was rated as excellent or good in 76% and 20% of cases, respectively. With regard to patient comfort, patients or their caregivers reported that patients were very comfortable or moderately comfortable in 62% and 27% of cases, respectively. Four adverse events were reported; all were transient and of mild-to-moderate intensity. The survey results support clinical research findings on the comparative efficacy and safety of trimethoprim-polymyxin B ophthalmic solution compared with other ophthalmic antimicrobial agents. The pediatricians in our survey who prescribed trimethoprim-polymyxin B ophthalmic solution for children with presumed acute bacterial conjunctivitis reported that this medication was effective and well tolerated.

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