Topical fluoroquinolones for eye and ear

Publication Date


Document Type



Acute Disease; Administration, Topical; Anti-Infective Agents; Bacterial Infections; Conjunctivitis; Ear Diseases; Eye Diseases; Fluoroquinolones; Humans; Keratitis; Otitis Externa; Otitis Media


Primary Care


Topical fluoroquinolones are now available for use in the eye and ear. Their broad spectrum of activity includes the common eye and ear pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. For the treatment of acute otitis externa, these agents are as effective as previously available otic preparations. For the treatment of otitis media with tympanic membrane perforation, topical fluoroquinolones are effective and safe. These preparations are approved for use in children, and lack of ototoxicity permits prolonged administration when necessary. Topical fluoroquinolones are not appropriate for the treatment of uncomplicated conjunctivitis where narrower spectrum agents suffice; they represent a simplified regimen for the treatment of bacterial keratitis (corneal ulcers). When administered topically, fluoroquinolones are well tolerated and offer convenient dosing schedules. Currently, bacterial resistance appears limited.


Am Fam Physician. 2000 Oct 15;62(8):1870-6.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American family physician

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID