Most acute superficial eye infections can be treated topically. Blepharitis and conjunctivitis are often caused by staphylococci; keratitis and endophthalmitis may be bacterial, viral, or fungal. Most cases of acute bacterial conjunctivitis are self-limiting; where treatment is appropriate, antibacterial eye drops or an eye ointment are used. A poor response might indicate viral or allergic conjunctivitis.

See NHS Somerset Managing common infections guidance.


Therapeutic AreaFormulary ChoicesCost for 28
(unless otherwise stated)
Rationale for decision / comments
AntibacterialsGreen crossChloramphenicol

- suitable for self-care
0.5% eye drops: £8.77 (10ml)
1% ointment: £1.76 (4g)
Not licensed for under 2 years if bought over the counter.
Topical fusidic acid is non-formulary as no longer recommended due to resistance.
as Exocin®
0.3% eye drops: £2.17 (5ml)
as Virgan®
0.15% eye gel: £19.99 (5g)
as Agepha®
3% eye ointment: £45:00 (4.5g)