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Adv Ther. 2012 Jun;29(6):473-90. doi: 10.1007/s12325-012-0027-7. Epub 2012 Jun 20.

Besifloxacin ophthalmic suspension, 0.6%: a novel topical fluoroquinolone for bacterial conjunctivitis.

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  • 1Ocular Microbiology Laboratory, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA.


Acute bacterial conjunctivitis, the most common cause of conjunctivitis, is responsible for approximately 1% of all primary-care consultations. Of the topical ophthalmic antibiotics used to treat acute bacterial conjunctivitis, fluoroquinolones are especially useful because they possess a broad antibacterial spectrum, are bactericidal in action, are generally well tolerated, and have been less prone to development of bacterial resistance. Besifloxacin, the latest advanced fluoroquinolone approved for treating bacterial conjunctivitis, is the first fluoroquinolone developed specifically for topical ophthalmic use. It has a C-8 chlorine substituent and is known as a chloro-fluoroquinolone. Besifloxacin possesses relatively balanced dual-targeting activity against bacterial topoisomerase IV and DNA gyrase (topoisomerse II), two essential enzymes involved in bacterial DNA replication, leading to increased potency and decreased likelihood of bacterial resistance developing to besifloxacin. Microbiological data suggest a relatively high potency and rapid bactericidal activity for besifloxacin against common ocular pathogens, including bacteria resistant to other fluoroquinolones, especially resistant staphylococcal species. Randomized, double-masked, controlled clinical studies demonstrated the clinical efficacy of besifloxacin ophthalmic suspension 0.6% administered three-times daily for 5 days to be superior to the vehicle alone and similar to moxifloxacin ophthalmic solution 0.5% for bacterial conjunctivitis. In addition, besifloxacin ophthalmic suspension 0.6% administered two-times daily for 3 days was clinically more effective than the vehicle alone for bacterial conjunctivitis. Besifloxacin has also been shown in preclinical animal studies to be potentially effective for the "off-label" treatment of infections following ocular surgery, prophylaxis of endophthalmitis, and the treatment of bacterial keratitis. Taken together, clinical and preclinical animal studies indicate that besifloxacin is an important new option for the treatment of ocular infections.

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