TUESDAY, Oct. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For children with acute infective conjunctivitis, topical antibiotics are associated with a shorter duration of conjunctival symptoms, according to a study published online Oct. 4 in JAMA Network Open.

Minna Honkila, M.D., Ph.D., from Oulu University Hospital in Finland, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial in primary health care in Finland involving children with acute infective conjunctivitis to examine the efficacy of topical antibiotic therapy. Eighty-eight children were enrolled and were randomly assigned to moxifloxacin eye drops, placebo eye drops, or no intervention (30, 27, and 31 children, respectively). In addition, a meta-analysis was conducted that included the current trial and three previous randomized clinical trials with a total of 584 children (300 randomly assigned to topical antibiotics and 284 to placebo).

The researchers found that compared with the no-intervention group, the moxifloxacin group had a significantly shorter time to clinical cure (3.8 versus 5.7 days); relative to no intervention, both moxifloxacin and placebo eye drops significantly shortened the time to clinical cure in the survival analysis. In the meta-analysis, there was a reduction observed in the proportion of children with conjunctivitis symptoms on days 3 to 6 associated with use of topical antibiotics compared with placebo (odds ratio, 0.59).

“The present study, which was designed to address current inconsistencies, found that topical antibiotics were effective when used to treat acute infectious conjunctivitis in children,” the authors write.

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