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Quick summary

Type of medicine

Prescription Antibiotic



Active Ingredient

Chloramphenicol 0.5% w/v

Effective within

Provides relief and starts working within hours to days, depending on the severity of the infection.

Works by

Killing or inhibiting the growth of bacteria causing eye infections.

Side effects

Temporary burning or stinging sensation in the eyes, transient blurred vision, mild eye irritation, rare allergic reactions.

Medication details

Chloramphenicol Eye Drops 0.5% (10 ml) is a trusted ophthalmic solution used in the treatment of bacterial eye infections. These eye drops contain the active ingredient chloramphenicol, which is an antibiotic. Chloramphenicol is effective against a wide range of bacteria responsible for eye infections, making it a valuable medication for those seeking relief from bacterial conjunctivitis and related conditions.

Wash Hands: Start by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water to ensure cleanliness.
Remove the Cap: Carefully remove the cap from the Chloramphenicol Eye Drops bottle.
Tilt Head Back: Gently tilt your head backward while looking upward.
Pull Down Lower Eyelid: With one hand, gently pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket.
Apply Drops: Hold the eye drop bottle upside down over your eye and squeeze it to release one or two drops into the pocket created by your lower eyelid. Avoid touching your eye with the dropper tip or any other surface.
Close Eye and Blink: Close your eye gently and blink a few times to help distribute the solution evenly across the eye surface.
Repeat if Necessary: If you need to treat both eyes, repeat the process for the other eye.
Replace Cap: Securely replace the cap on the eye drop bottle to prevent contamination.
Storage: Store Chloramphenicol Eye Drops at room temperature, protect from direct sunlight, and ensure the bottle is tightly closed when not in use.
Dosage: The recommended dosage for bacterial eye infections is typically one or two drops into the affected eye(s) every 2 hours for the first 48 hours, and then reduce the frequency to four times daily or as directed by your healthcare professional.


Chloramphenicol Eye Drops 0.5% (10 ml) contain the active ingredient:
Chloramphenicol 0.5% w/v: An antibiotic that inhibits bacterial protein synthesis, effectively treating bacterial eye infections.
Other ingredients may include purified water, borax, and hydrochloric acid (to adjust pH).

Side Effects

Chloramphenicol Eye Drops are generally safe and well-tolerated. However, like all medications, they may cause side effects in some individuals. Common side effects may include:
Temporary burning or stinging sensation in the eyes
Transient blurred vision
Mild eye irritation
Allergic reactions (rare)
If you experience severe or persistent side effects, discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional or pharmacist.


Consult a Healthcare Professional: If your eye infection does not improve after a few days of using Chloramphenicol Eye Drops, or if it worsens, consult a healthcare professional or optometrist for a comprehensive eye evaluation.
Allergies: Avoid using this product if you are allergic to chloramphenicol or any other ingredients listed on the product packaging.
Contact Lenses: Remove contact lenses before applying the eye drops and wait at least 15 minutes before reinserting them. Chloramphenicol Eye Drops are generally not recommended for use with contact lenses. Consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on using contact lenses during treatment.
Pregnancy and Nursing: If you are pregnant, nursing, or planning to become pregnant, consult with a healthcare professional before using this product.
Keep Out of Reach of Children: Store the eye drops out of the reach of children. In case of accidental ingestion, seek medical assistance promptly.
Complete Treatment: It's important to complete the full course of treatment as prescribed by your healthcare professional, even if symptoms improve before the medication is finished. Stopping treatment prematurely may lead to bacterial resistance.

Medically reviewed and published

  • This page was medically reviewed by Dr Sohaib Imtiaz, Clinical Lead on Oct 5, 2023, 2:45 pm

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Please read our FAQs page to find out more.

Can I use Chloramphenicol Eye Drops for viral eye infections like conjunctivitis (pink eye)?

No, Chloramphenicol Eye Drops are specifically designed to treat bacterial eye infections. They are not effective against viral infections. Consult a healthcare professional for appropriate treatment of viral eye conditions.

How long should I continue using Chloramphenicol Eye Drops once my symptoms improve?

It's essential to complete the full course of treatment as prescribed by your healthcare professional, even if your symptoms improve before finishing the medication. Stopping treatment prematurely may lead to bacterial resistance.

Can I drive or operate heavy machinery after using Chloramphenicol Eye Drops?

Chloramphenicol Eye Drops may cause temporary blurred vision immediately after application. It's advisable to wait until your vision clears before driving or operating heavy machinery. Use caution and ensure your vision is clear and comfortable before engaging in such activities.

What should I do if I accidentally ingest Chloramphenicol Eye Drops?

In case of accidental ingestion, seek medical assistance promptly. While accidental ingestion is rare, it's important to take it seriously and seek professional guidance.

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