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Chloramphenicol [US: Chloromycetin] (Chloramphenicol) 0.5% W/V Eye Drops

What’s in your medicine

Description: Each 1 ml of eye drops contains 5mg chloramphenicol [Chloromycetin].

Excipients: Borax, Boric acid, Pheny I mercuric nitrate, Water for injection

Pack size: Supplied in 5 ml and 10 ml bottles.

Type of medicine: Chloramphenicol [Chloromycetin] is a broad spectrum antibiotic for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis caused by chloramphenicol [Chloromycetin] susceptible organisms..


Chloramphenicol [Chloromycetin] 0.5% w/v Eye Drops are used for the relief of symptoms in the eye, caused by infection. The infected eye will probably be red, gritty or itchy. The antibiotic, chloramphenicol [Chloromycetin], will help to kill the bacteria (germs).

Before you use your medicine

If you have ever had a reaction to Chloramphenicol [Chloromycetin] 0.5% w/v Eye Drops or to – any of the other ingredients, including phenylmercuric nitrate, do not use the Eye Drops. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are in doubt about this.

If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breast-feeding, you should not use the Eye Drops unless your doctor advises its use.

If you or any member of your family have ever had problems with your blood or bone marrow, you should not use the Eye Drops. Chloramphenicol [Chloromycetin] 0.5% w/v Eye Drops are not effective against some germs, such as fungi.

Chloramphenicol [Chloromycetin] 0.5% w/v eye drops must not be used if you are wearing contact lens.

How to use your medicine

Adults, Children and Infants: The normal dosage is two drops to be put in the affected eye every 3 hours for 7 days. Follow the instructions on the label.

If you forget to apply a dose, apply it as soon as you remember unless it is time for your next dose. Do not apply two doses at the same time. Do not repeat using these drops within 3 months.

It is quite possible to use the Eye Drops on your own, but you may find it easier to ask someone else to put the drops into your eye. Let them stand behind you while you sit in a chair and tilt your head back until you are looking straight upwards. This lets them get at your eye easily.

Pull down gently on the skin just below your eye to uncover the lower part of your eye ball. This exposes the inner surface of the lower eyelid and is a good place to aim the drops into.

Squeeze the bottle until a drop falls on to this area. Wait a few seconds before repeating with a second drop.

Do not touch your eye with the dropper on the bottle as this may contaminate the drops.

This product should not be taken by mouth, however, if you swallow the drops accidentally you should contact your doctor or pharmacist at once.

Treatment is continued for 7 days only.

If you have a severe infection or your eye does not improve after 7 days of treatment, you should consult your doctor.

If you accidentally apply too many drops, you should wash your eye with copious amounts of water. If any painful symptoms continue after this, you should tell your doctor immediately. If you cannot do this, you should go to your nearest hospital accident and emergency (casualty) department taking the drops and packaging with you.

Whilst using your medicine

Do not wear soft contact lenses whilst using the Eye Drops as the preservative may damage the lens. It is better not to wear any type of contact lenses while you have an eye infection.

If you use Chloramphenicol [Chloromycetin] 0.5% w/v Eye Drops for a long time, your doctor may want to take blood samples to make sure that chloramphenicol [Chloromycetin] has not affected your blood in any way.

Chloramphenicol [Chloromycetin] may not work against certain types of infections. If your symptoms are not getting better after 7 days, you should tell your doctor at once.

Side effects

You may notice that your eyes burn or sting for a short while after using the drops. If prolonged irritation, pain, swelling, watery eyes or sensitivity to light occurs, then the exposed eye should be washed with water for 15 minutes. If the symptoms continue after this, an eye examination may be required.

If the drops blur your vision, do not drive or operate machinery until you can see clearly again.

Sometimes, when an antibiotic is used for a long time, other types of bacteria or fungi, which are not killed, take over from the original infection. This may seem as though the original infection has not cleared up or has got worse. Therefore, if you do not get better in 7 days, tell your doctor at once, he/she may need to change your treatment.

If you get these or any other unusual effects, tell your doctor or pharmacist at once. A small amount of chloramphenicol [Chloromycetin] may be absorbed into your body if you use the Eye Drops regularly or for a long time. This may lead to a reaction but serious side effects are very unusual. If you develop any of the following, stop using the drops and tell your doctor at once:

  • wheeziness
  • fever
  • swelling of your face, lips and tongue
  • rash with swelling of the skin (the rash could be puffy or blotchy or look like little blisters)

On very rare occasions, patients using chloramphenicol [Chloromycetin] have developed changes in the make up of their blood. A decrease in the number of red blood cells (which carry oxygen), white blood cells (which fight infection) and platelets (which help the blood to clot) has been reported. This might lead to sore throat, bruising, or being unable to overcome an infection, and can be serious.

Storing your medicine

Do not use Chloramphenicol [Chloromycetin] 0.5% w/v Eye Drops after the last day of the month shown in the expiry date on the package. Return any out-of-date Eye Drops to your pharmacist.

Store between 2°C and 8°C.

Keep container in the outer carton to protect from light.

Discard remaining contents 28 days after opening.

Keep out of the reach and sight of children.

If your doctor decides to end your treatment, return the left over Eye Drops to your pharmacist. Only keep them if your doctor tells you to.

This medicine is for you. Only your doctor can prescribe Chloramphenicol [Chloromycetin] 0.5% w/v Eye Drops for you. Never give them to anyone else. It may harm them even if their symptoms are the same as yours.

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