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Ophthalmology. 1996 Nov;103(11):1880-3.

The efficacy of topical metronidazole in the treatment of ocular rosacea.

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Division of Ophthalmology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH 44195, USA.



The purpose of the study is to investigate the efficacy of metronidazole topical gel in the treatment of ocular rosacea.


Ten patients with ocular rosacea were treated prospectively with lid hygiene and topical metronidazole applied to the lid margin in one eye and lid hygiene alone in the fellow eye. The treatment period was 12 weeks. A masked observer graded the ocular findings at the initial visit and at the conclusion of the treatment period. Pretreatment scores were compared with post-treatment scores with respect to ocular surface, eyelid margin, and combined eyelid plus ocular surface.


Eight of ten treated eyes improved, whereas only five of ten control eyes improved. There was a statistically significant improvement in the eyelid score in both the treated and control groups (P = 0.003, P = 0.025, respectively), but no significant improvement in the ocular surface score in either group. When the pretreatment and post-treatment eyelid and ocular surface scores were combined, there was a significant improvement in the treated eyes but not in the control eyes (P = 0.022, P = 0.10, respectively). No adverse effects of the metronidazole treatment were encountered in this study.


Metronidazole topical gel may be a safe and effective means of treating rosacea blepharitis.

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