Antibiotics for an Eye Infection

Eye infections can be irritating and keep you from performing even the simplest daily activities. Itchy, burning, or watery eyes, blurred vision, and redness can all be symptoms of an eye infection. Fortunately, most easily are treated with fast-acting antibiotics. Your family doctor can diagnose the cause of the infection and prescribe an appropriate antibiotic so you'll be back to normal in a matter of days.


Moxifloxacin is a generic antibiotic also sold under the brand name Vigamox. This ophthalmic antibiotic is prescribed in liquid form and applied directly to the eye to treat bacterial infections. This drug is ineffective for fungal or viral eye infections. If symptoms do not improve within three days, contact your physician. Normal dosage for this antibiotic is one drop in the affected eye three times a day. Your physician may alter this dose based on the severity of your infection. Vigamox retailed at an average cost of $31 for a one-week supply in 2010.


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Tobramycin belongs to a class of antibiotics known as aminoglycosides. Tobramycin commonly is used to treat bacterial eye infections. This antibiotic prevents the growth of bacteria and cannot be used for viral infections. Tobramycin can be prescribed as a liquid eye drop or an ointment. This antibiotic is safe for children and has few side effects, which may include swelling of the eye or redness. Tobramycin can be used two or three times daily for minor infections or as often as every three hours for severe infections. When taking this antibiotic it is important to finish the entire course to ensure the infection is completely gone. Continue using the antibiotic as prescribed even if you no longer have symptoms. This drug had an average retail cost of $55 in 2010 for a seven-day supply.


Ciprofloxacin, also known as Ciloxan, is a broad-range antibiotic. It is used to treat many types of bacteria, including those that cause eye infections. It is also an antimicrobial used to treat microbial infections caused by bacteria. This antibiotic can be prescribed in liquid form or as an ointment and is applied directly to the eye. The most common side effects from use of this antibiotic are burning or stinging of the eye momentarily when drops are used and occasional allergic reactions that include swelling or redness. Ciprofloxacin is a relatively expensive antibiotic. In 2010, the retail cost averaged $72 for a seven-day supply.