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Eye Health Center

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Bacterial Conjunctivitis Drug Besivance Approved

FDA OKs Eyedrops to Treat Bacterial Conjunctivitis, Commonly Called 'Pinkeye'
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

May 29, 2009 -- The FDA has approved a new antibacterial eyedrop called Besivance to treat a contagious eye infection called bacterial conjunctivitis, which is commonly called "pinkeye."

Symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis include red eyes, swelling, eyelids sticking together, itching, watering, and a white or yellow sticky discharge from the eyes. Bacterial conjunctivitis generally runs its course in seven to 14 days. It's particularly common among kids but can affect people of all ages.

The FDA approved Besivance based on clinical trials in which bacterial conjunctivitis patients treated with Besivance recovered faster than patients who were treated with a solution that only contained a preservative.

Besivance was shown to be effective in treating patients at least 1 year old. Side effects were reported in less than 3% of patients in the Besivance clinical trials. Side effects included redness of the eyes, blurred vision, eye pain, irritation and itching, and headache, according to the FDA.

Besivance will be available by prescription in the second quarter of 2009, according to the drug's maker, Bausch & Lomb.

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