TETRACYCLINE, eye ointment

Therapeutic action

– Antibacterial


– Treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis
– Treatment of trachoma (by preference use oral azithromycin for this indication)
– Prevention of neonatal conjunctivitis

Forms and strengths

– 1% ointment, tube

Dosage and duration

– Wash the eyes with boiled and cooled water before each application. Use sterile sodium chloride 0.9% for newborns.
– Apply tetracycline 1% into the conjunctival sac of both eyes:
• Conjunctivitis: one application 2 times daily for 7 days
• Trachoma: one application 2 times daily for 6 weeks
• Prevention of neonatal conjunctivitis: one single application immediately after birth

Contra-indications, adverse effects, precautions

– Do not use in patients with hypersensitivity to tetracyclines.
– May cause allergic reactions; stop treatment in the event of serious reaction.


– Neonatal conjunctivitis must be treated with systemic antibiotic therapy. When it is not immediately available, apply tetracycline eye ointment to both eyes every hour until systemic treatment is available.
– Oxytetracycline and chlortetracycline are used in the same way as tetracycline.
– In the event of eye infection, use only eye ointment; dermal ointment must never be applied to the eyes.
– Storage: below 25 °C - 
Do not use after expiry date.