Objective To analyse children with purulent bacterial conjunctivitis and to assess the safety and efficacy of azithromycin eyedrops 1.5% with a 3-day treatment.
Methods A subset of 150 children from a study of 1043 patients was included. The patients were enrolled in a multicentre, randomised, investigator-masked and parallel group study. The patients presented with signs and symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis and a conjunctival culture was performed at day 0, day 3 if possible and day 9. Treatment of azithromycin 1.5% eyedrops twice daily for 3 days and of tobramycin 0.3% eyedrops one drop every 2 h for 2 days then four times daily for 5 days were compared for safety and efficacy. 58 patients of the 150 patients included had positive cultures and were studied for efficacy. Efficacy variables were clinical cure (evaluated conjunctiva hyperhemia and purulent discharge) and bacterial eradication.
Results Both treatments were safe on the ocular surface and were effective in more than 80% of children on day 9. Azithromycin provided a significantly quicker cure, clinical and bacterial eradication on day 3, than tobramycin (p<0.001).
Conclusion Azithromycin appears safe, leads to a rapid clinical and microbiological cure and can be easily used in children in order to improve quality of life.