Conjunctivitis - Antibiotic Prescribing

Doses are oral and for adults unless otherwise stated. Visit the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) website for detailed drug information (summary of product characteristics and patient information leaflets). Dosing details, contraindications and drug interactions can also be found in the Irish Medicines Formulary (IMF) or other reference sources such as British National Formulary (BNF) / BNF for children (BNFC). See guidance on dosing in children for quick reference dosage/weight guide. Refer to drug interactions table for detailed drug interactions for all antimicrobials. Note extensive drug interactions for clarithromycin, fluoroquinolones, azole antifungals and rifampicin. Many antibiotics increase the risk of bleeding with anticoagulants.

Note additional warnings for clarithromycin and fluoroquinolones

Comments from Expert Advisory Committee

  • Most bacterial infections are self-limiting (64% resolve on placeboA+). They are usually unilateral with yellow-white mucopurulent discharge.
  • Fusidic acid has minimal Gram-negative activity.


Treatment Dose TX Duration
If severeB+ chloramphenicol 0.5% drops
PLUS 1% ointment
2 hrly reducing to QDS when infection controlled and at night Until 48 hours after resolution
fusidic acid 1% gel BD Until 48 hours after resolution

Patient Information

We recommend patients use the website developed by HSE/ICGP/IPU partnership for tips on how to get better from common infections without using antibiotics, what you can do for yourself or a loved one and when to seek help.

Reviewed June 2016