Bacterial Endophthalmitis Medication

Updated: Sep 20, 2018
  • Author: Robert H Graham, MD; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to eradicate the infection, to reduce morbidity, and to prevent complications. Various routes for drug administration are available. Intravitreous is the most effective.



Class Summary

Therapy must be comprehensive and cover all likely pathogens in the context of this clinical setting.


Potent antibiotic directed against gram-positive organisms and active against Enterococcus species. Indicated for patients who cannot receive or have failed to respond to penicillins and cephalosporins or have infections with resistant staphylococci.

Ahmed et al reported that intravitreal, rather than intravenous, vancomycin is necessary for the treatment of bacterial endophthalmitis. It is not necessary to monitor vancomycin levels when administered via intravitreal injection.

Ceftazidime (Fortaz, Tazicef)

First-line choice for intravitreal gram-negative coverage. Third-generation cephalosporin with broad-spectrum, gram-negative activity; lower efficacy against gram-positive organisms; higher efficacy against resistant organisms. Arrests bacterial growth by binding to one or more penicillin-binding proteins.


Second-line choice for intravitreal injection for gram-negative coverage. For gram-negative bacterial coverage of infections resistant to gentamicin and tobramycin. Effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Irreversibly binds to 30S subunit of bacterial ribosomes; blocks recognition step in protein synthesis; causes growth inhibition. Use the patient's IBW for dosage calculation.

Ciprofloxacin ophthalmic (Ciloxan)

Fluoroquinolone with activity against pseudomonas, streptococci, MRSA, S epidermidis, and most gram-negative organisms, but may have limited activity against anaerobes. Inhibits bacterial DNA synthesis, and consequently growth. Provides gram-positive coverage. Uncertain benefit in noncataract causes.

Ofloxacin ophthalmic (Ocuflox)

A pyridine carboxylic acid derivative with broad-spectrum bactericidal effect, ofloxacin inhibits bacterial growth by inhibiting DNA gyrase. It is indicated for superficial ocular infections of the conjunctiva or cornea caused by susceptible strains of microorganisms.

Levofloxacin ophthalmic (Iquix, Quixin)

Levofloxacin is an S (-) enantiomer of ofloxacin. It inhibits DNA gyrase in susceptible organisms, thereby inhibiting relaxation of supercoiled DNA and promoting breakage of DNA strands.

Gatifloxacin ophthalmic (Zymaxid)

A fourth-generation fluoroquinolone ophthalmic indicated for bacterial conjunctivitis, gatifloxacin elicits a dual mechanism of action by possessing an 8-methoxy group, thereby inhibiting the enzymes DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV. DNA gyrase is involved in bacterial DNA replication, transcription, and repair. Topoisomerase IV is essential in chromosomal DNA partitioning during bacterial cell division. Gatifloxacin is indicated for bacterial conjunctivitis.

Moxifloxacin ophthalmic (Moxeza, Vigamox)

Indicated to treat bacterial conjunctivitis. Elicits antimicrobial effects. Inhibits topoisomerase II (DNA gyrase) and IV enzymes. DNA gyrase is essential in bacterial DNA replication, transcription, and repair. Topoisomerase IV plays a key role in chromosomal DNA portioning during bacterial cell division.



Class Summary

Have anti-inflammatory properties and cause profound and varied metabolic effects. Corticosteroids modify the body's immune response to diverse stimuli.

Prednisolone acetate (Pred Forte, Omnipred, Pred Mild)

Treats acute inflammations following eye surgery or other types of insults to eye.

Decreases inflammation and corneal neovascularization. Suppresses migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reverses increased capillary permeability.

In cases of bacterial infections, concomitant use of anti-infective agents is mandatory; if signs and symptoms do not improve after 2 days, reevaluate patient. Dosing may be reduced, but advise patients not to discontinue therapy prematurely. Dosage dependent on severity of inflammation.

Dexamethasone (Ozurdex, Maxidex)

For various allergic and inflammatory diseases. Decreases inflammation by suppressing migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reducing capillary permeability.

Triamcinolone (Triesence)

Treats inflammatory dermatosis responsive to steroids. Decreases inflammation by suppressing migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reversing capillary permeability.


Anticholinergic Agents, Ophthalmic

Class Summary

Reduces ciliary spasm that may cause pain. Anticholinergic agents are also mydriatics, and the practitioner should make sure that the patient does not have glaucoma. This medication could provoke an acute angle-closure attack.

Atropine ophthalmic

DOC; acts at parasympathetic sites in smooth muscle to block response of sphincter muscle of iris and muscle of ciliary body to acetylcholine, causing mydriasis and cycloplegia.