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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2007 Aug;8(12):1903-21.

Management strategies for acute infective conjunctivitis in primary care: a systematic review.

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University of Oxford, Department of Primary Healthcare, Old Road Campus, Headington, Oxford, UK.


A systematic review of the literature on all aspects of the management of acute infective conjunctivitis is undertaken. Acute infective conjunctivitis is a common presentation in primary healthcare. It is usually a mild condition and serious complications are rare. Clinical signs are a poor discriminator of bacterial and viral causes. Studies of treatment show that there is a high rate of clinical cure without any treatment (65% within 2-5 days). Treatment with topical antibiotics improves the rate of clinical recovery and this is more marked in the first 2-5 days after presentation (number needed to treat [NNT] = 6), but less by 6-10 days (NNT = 13). Studies comparing treatment with different antibiotics do not demonstrate that any one antibiotic is superior; the choice of antibiotic should be based on consideration of cost and bacterial resistance. The present practice of prescribing antibiotics to most cases is not necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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