Should We Prescribe Vigamox Eye Drops for Pink Eye?

May 6, 2009

I see many patients who are referred to me by pediatricians and ER docs, and it seems they all are taking some fourth generation fluoroquinolone like Vigamox eye drops for bacterial conjunctivitis (or pink eye). What’s up with that? Is it just plain laziness to prescribe the same thing over and over? Or is it the result of drug rep pressure? I reserve these superdrugs to contact lens wearers. Otherwise, my patients with conjunctivitis get sulfa or gentamicin or some other cheap, old medicine. I wish doctors would take a moment before reflexively prescribing Vigamox and other very powerful drugs for what is a benign, self-limited disease.




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156 Responses to “Should We Prescribe Vigamox Eye Drops for Pink Eye?”

  • ari

    doesnt sound like pinkeye. the light sensitivity is not typical- more typical with iritis. see ophthalmologist asap

  • Jeanie

    Woke up with my eye red which got progressively worse into the evening. Very light sensitive, in fact when I had the unaffected eye open the affected eye got extremely painful. Went to Urgent Care & the doctor said I have viral conjunctivitis. I’ve had pinkeye before but never as painful, red or light sensitive. I was prescribed Gentamicin and have been using it for 3 days every 4 hours. My concern is that my eye is still red and my vision is blurry in affected eye. Sometimes I get pain in the eye that lasts only a few seconds then goes away. Also my year duct feels weird. Doesn’t hurt but a bit itchy. Should I wait another 2 days before calling my regular doctor if symptoms go away? Is this normal?

  • ari

    it takes more than a day to get symptoms–usually 2-3 days, so i dont think you got it from the optom. sounds more like you got the virus from the kids. damn kids!
    dont touch anyone, and you wont spread it.

  • AmyW

    my husband and I have had a sinus cold for a few days- my 16 month old likely had it first but his 3 yr old brother seems to not have gotten it. The baby had mild conjunctivitis with a little greenish goo appearing in the eye along with a couple days of voluminous snot but was fine with no treatment other than tylenol for mild fever. Both kids are in daycare, both my husband and I work outside the home. Yesterday I went to the optometrist, had my eye exam, tried on frames for my new prescription, Then the next day (today) in the middle of the day I wiped my eye and to my surprise there was a mass of green-yellow mucus. Mucus has been omniprsent ever since. I’ve not experienced this before. I don’t want to pass it to my kids or coworkers or take antibiotics unnecessarily. What are the chances I contracted bacterial conj. from my optometrist visit? How long is it from time of exposure to bacterial conj. to manifestation of symptoms? Should I really stay home from work? I also have a dentist appointment tomorrow – I couldn’t pass it on to anyone there could I?

  • ari

    sorry i didnt see this til now. a child with significant swelling of the lids need to be assessed for possible pre-septal cellulitis. you should see an ophthalmologist asap.

  • NP Kiyara

    My 18 Month old Daughter has been detected with Viral Conjunctiva on Monday. It grew Worse with Completely swollen Eyelids and shiny pinky surface skin.
    Wednesday she started bleeding from the Eye regularly. When she wakes up in the morning its all stuck and we clean it with room temperature water & Cotton.(boiled and then cooled water.)
    Today is friday and she had not slept the whole night. (waking up every 30min)
    She has very little visiblilty.
    Had been to child specialist and suggest to wait till saturday if it does not subside show he ophthalmologist.

    We are very scared.. .

    Medications given so far
    Monday – we started with Oflox.
    Tuesday – Continued Oflox.
    Wednesday – Thursday – used nothing…
    please assist

  • ari

    its viral- thats why the antibiotics dont help. it can last a week or two.

  • Jon

    I have pink eye and was prescribed moxeza. I have been taking the drops for four days with very little difference in my symptoms. Is there an average time this virus lasts? Should I seek out stronger medication? Should I already be seeing improvement? Thank you.

  • ari

    actually, gent is perfectly good for eyelid staph- seems the eyelid staph is very sensitive. but i usually dont prescribe it- prefer bacitracin/erythro

  • Charles

    Seems styes are over treated with wrong medications as well. I see a lot of folks put on gent drops for these lesions. Aren’t they mostly Staph and doesn’t gent have poor staph coverage? Can we just use topical heat and time? Or is gent drops ok?


  • ari

    doesnt sound like pink eye. go to an ophthalmologist- sounds more like iritis. if you wear contacts, i suspect a corneal ulcer

  • Casey

    Hi- I woke up this morning with a very red burning eye that is very sensitive to light exposure and feels sore to touch. I went to the care now and was perscribed vigamox after she briefly (for about 2 seconds) looked at my eye. I have had pink eye in the past but never the extreme light sensitivity and eye ball pain. Could it be something else? Should I continue with the vigamox?

  • JD Bliss

    My 16-month old daughter was diagnosed today with bacterial conjunctivitis. The pediatrician prescribed Polytrim.

    Having read the comments on this blog before, I asked the pediatrician how he knew it was bacterial rather than viral (in which case, I understood best treatment is to allow it to run its course without antibiotics).

    He said that the volume of green guck coming from her eye indicated a bacterial infection. So we went out and filled the Polytrim prescription.

    Any other parents out there who used Polytrim before?

  • Fiona

    I will, thank you.

  • ari

    expiration means little. give it a few more days.

  • Fiona

    My daughter woke up with a crusty eye yesterday morning. I’ve been using Polymyxin B Sulfate and Trimethoprim Ophthalmic solution drops that had been prescribed for her for a previous eye infection. They expired in 2011 (I tried them in my own eye first just to make sure & no bad effects). There’s been no improvement yet after 1 1/2 days and I’m wondering if I should keep up the drops, or if they’ve lost their effectiveness. I have new “insurance” that makes prescriptions and appointments very expensive for me, so would like to avoid a trip to the doctor if at all possible. Any advice you have would be appreciated.

  • Dr. Ari Weitzner

    start the vigamox every hour and see ophthalmologists asap. dont even think of wearing your contacts.

  • T Williams

    I recently slept in my contacts for a few hours. I woke up with a heavy feeling on my eyelids. Kinda like I want to involuntarily close my eyes. I am sensitive to light and my left eye is still red and running water. I have had a conoreal ulcer before.from infection while sick with a cold. When I blink I feel the irritation in my left eye.
    Is vigamox ok to use if I have it on hand? How long before I should statrt back using contacts? Also will pink eye relief help. I dont have insurance so my dr visiti would be 130 not counting my prescription.

  • tosha

    Thank you! I’ll make an appointment to take him in today.

  • Dr. Ari Weitzner

    it does sound like an allergy. consider switching to a difft antibiotic.