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What does it do?

Chloramphenicol eye ointment is used to treat bacterial eye infections.

Before you start

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

How should you use it?

1. Wash your hands.
2. Tilt your head back a little and pull your lower eyelid down.
3. Squeeze a thin line of ointment along the inside of your lower eyelid. Do not let the tube tip touch your eye.
4. Close your eye for a moment and then blink a few times to help spread the ointment.
5. Repeat for your other eye if you need to.
6. Wash your hands when you are finished.

Keep using the ointment until the course is finished, even when your eye starts to feel better.

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and use your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not use two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Stinging when you put the ointment in

Usually temporary

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Do not use contact lenses until your treatment has finished.
  • Chloramphenicol eye ointment expires 4 weeks after you first open it. If you have any left over after 4 weeks, take it back to your pharmacy.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the MyMedicines Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha, New Zealand. March 2023

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed