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Chloromycetin 1%w/w Ophthalmic Ointment (Chloramphenicol)

About your medicine

Chloromycetin 1%w/w Ophthalmic Ointment is an eye ointment which comes in a 4g tube. Each 1g of the eye ointment contains 10mg of the active ingredient Chloramphenicol. It also contains: liquid paraffin and polyethylene in paraffin liquid.

What is your medicine used for?

Chloromycetin 1%w/w Ophthalmic Ointment is used for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis (infection of the eye). The infected eye will probably be red, gritty or itchy. The antibiotic, chloramphenicol, will help to kill the bacteria (germs) and allow the body to overcome the infection.

Before using your medicine

If you have ever had a reaction to Chloromycetin 1%w/w Ophthalmic Ointment or to any of the other ingredients, do not use the Chloromycetin 1%w/w Ophthalmic Ointment. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist at once.

If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breast-feeding, tell your doctor or pharmacist before using the Ophthalmic Ointment.

How to use your medicine

Adults, Children and Infants: The normal dosage is a small amount of the ointment to be applied to the affected eye every 3 hours or more frequently if required. Your doctor will have decided what dose is right for you. Follow the instructions on the label and do not change your dose unless your doctor tells you to.

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.

It is quite possible to use the Ophthalmic Ointment on your own, but you  may find it easier to ask someone else to put the ointment 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 apply the ointment to Squeeze the tube and apply about 1 cm of the ointment to the inner surface of the lower eyelid.

Do not touch your eye with the nozzle of the tube as this may contaminate the ointment.

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

The treatment is normally continued for at least 48 hours after the eye appears normal.

If you have a severe infection, you may also be given antibiotics to take by mouth.

If you accidentally apply too much ointment, 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 ointment and packaging with you.

While using your medicine

It is advisable not to wear any type of contact lenses while you have an eye infection.

If you use Chloromycetin 1%w/w Ophthalmic Ointment for a longtime, your doctor may want to take blood samples to make sure the chloramphenicol has not affected your blood in any way

Chloramphenicol may not work against certain types of infections. If your symptoms are not getting better, 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 ointment.

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 ointment blurs 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, tell your doctor at once, he/she may need to change your treatment.

If you get these or any other unusual side effects, tell your doctor or pharmacist at once.

A small amount of chloramphenicol may be absorbed into your body if you use the Ophthalmic Ointment 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 ointment 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 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 a sore throat, bruising, or being unable to overcome an infection, and can be serious.

How to store your medicine

Do not use Chloromycetin 1 %w/w Ophthalmic Ointment after the last day of the month shown in the ‘use by’ on the package. Return any out-of-date Chloromycetin 1%w/w Opthalmic Ointment to your pharmacist.

Do not store above 25°C.

Store the tube in the outer carton in order to protect from light.

Discard within 28 days of first opening.

If your doctor decides to end your treatment, return the left over Ophthalmic Ointment to your pharmacist. Only keep it if your doctor tells you to.

Replace the cap on the tube after use.

Do not use if cap seal is broken when received.


This medicine is for you. Only your doctor can prescribe Chloromycetin 1%w/w Ophthalmic Ointment 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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