Contains the active ingredient chloramphenicol
Consumer Medicine Information
NOTICE: This Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) is intended for persons
living in Australia. This page contains answers to some common
. It does
not contain all the information that is known about
. It does not take the
place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist. All medicines have risks
and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risk of you using this medicine
against the benefits he/she expects it will have for you. If you have
any concerns about using this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Bookmark or print this page, you may need to read it again.
What this medicine is used for
The name of your medicine is APO-Chloramphenicol Eye Drops. It contains the active ingredient chloramphenicol.
It is a topical antibiotic eye drop used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about why this medicine has been recommended for you. Your doctor
or pharmacist may have recommended this medicine for another reason.
How it works
Bacterial conjunctivitis is a highly contagious bacterial infection involving the mucous membrane of the surface of the eye.
The common symptoms are the presence of a sticky yellow-white discharge with mucous and pus, a gritty sensation in the eye,
irritation and redness of the eye and watery eyes. The infection usually starts in one eye and then spreads to the other.
Chloramphenicol belongs to a group of medicines called antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of the bacteria causing
There is no evidence that this medicine is addictive.
Use in children
This medicine should not be used in children under 2 years of age unless on medical advice.
Before you use this medicine
When you must not use it
Do not take this medicine if:
You are hypersensitive to, or have had an allergic reaction to, chloramphenicol or any of the ingredients listed at the end
of this leaflet.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include: cough, shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of the
face, lips, tongue, throat or other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin; fainting; or hay fever-like symptoms.
If you think you are having an allergic reaction, do not take any more of the medicine and contact your doctor immediately
or go to the Accident and Emergency department at the nearest hospital.
The expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack has passed.
The packaging is torn, shows signs of tampering or it does not look quite right.
Before you start to take it
Before you start taking this medicine, tell your doctor if:
1. You have allergies to:
any other medicines
any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes.
2. You are currently pregnant or you plan to become pregnant. Do not take this medicine whilst pregnant until you and your doctor
have discussed the risks and benefits involved.
3. You are currently breastfeeding or you plan to breast-feed. Do not take this medicine whilst breastfeeding until you and your
doctor have discussed the risks and benefits involved.
4. You are taking or are planning to take any other medicines. This includes vitamins and supplements that are available from
your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may interact with chloramphenicol. These include:
other eye drops
If you are taking any of these you may need a different dose or you may need to take different medicines.
Other medicines not listed above may also interact with chloramphenicol.
How to use this medicine
Follow carefully all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist. Their instructions may be different to the information
in this leaflet.
How much to use
Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how much of this medicine you should take. This will depend on your condition and
whether you are taking any other medicines.
Place one or two drops in the affected eye(s) every 2 to 6 hours for 2 to 3 days. The interval between doses may then be increased.
How to use it
Wash your hands.
Tilt your head back and pull the lower lid away from your eye to make a space and drop the medicine into this space. Let
go of your eyelid and gently close your eyes. Try not to blink.
Keep your eyes closed for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the medicine to come into contact with the infection.
Apply gentle pressure to the inner corner of the eye (the tear duct) for approximately 1 minute immediately after placing
the drops in the eye. This will reduce the amount of medicine absorbed into the blood stream or other parts of the body.
To keep the medicine as germ free as possible, do not touch the tip of the bottle to any surface including the eye.
When to use it
Use this medicine at the same time each day. Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect and will also help
you remember when to take it.
It does not matter if you take it before, with or after food.
How long to use it for
Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor or pharmacist tells you.
Normally treatment is continued for at least 2 days after the eye appears normal.
If you forget to use it
If it is almost time to take your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take
it as soon as you remember and then go back to taking your medicine as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for missed doses.
This may increase the chance of you experiencing side effects.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints to help you remember.
If you use too much (overdose)
Rinse your eye with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes if pain, swelling, excessive tears or an uncomfortable
sensitivity to the light is experienced after application of APO-Chloramphenicol Eye Drops.
Contact your doctor or pharmacist if symptoms are still present after thoroughly rinsing your eye.
If you think that you or anyone else may have accidentally swallowed this medicine, immediately telephone your doctor or the
Poisons Information Centre (Tel: 13 11 26 in Australia) for advice. Alternatively, go to the Accident and Emergency department
at your nearest hospital.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
While you are using this medicine
Things you must do
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you take this medicine.
Use it exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has prescribed.
If the symptoms of your infection do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist.
Stop using APO-Chloramphenicol Eye Drops and tell your doctor or pharmacist if irritation occurs or you experience an allergic
Things you must not do
Stop using your medicine or lower the dosage without checking with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you do not complete the full course prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist, the infection may not be completely cured.
The bacteria may grow again and your symptoms may return.
Use it for longer than your doctor or pharmacist has prescribed.
Give this medicine to anyone else, even if their symptoms seem similar to yours.
Take your medicine to treat any other condition unless your doctor tells you to.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how it affects you.
This medicine generally does not cause any problems with your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. However, as with
many other medicines, it may cause tiredness. If are affected, do not drive, operate machinery or do anything else that could
Possible side effects
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking chloramphenicol or if you have any questions
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them. All medicines can have side
effects. Sometimes they are serious but most of the time they are not.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following:
temporary itching, burning or stinging eyes
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following.
These may be serious side effects and you may need medical attention:
eye soreness, redness or swelling that was not present before treatment or that worsens after treatment
skin rash, itching or swelling
unusual tiredness, weakness, bleeding or bruising more easily than normal.
Other side effects not listed above may occur in some patients.
If you think you are having an allergic reaction to chloramphenicol, do not take any more of this medicine and tell your doctor
immediately or go to the Accident and Emergency department at your nearest hospital.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include some or all of the following:
cough, shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing
swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat or other parts of the body.
Storage and disposal
Keep the unopened bottles in the refrigerator, where the temperature stays between 2°C and 8°C and where children cannot reach
The top shelf of the refrigerator at the back is a good place to store it. Keep your medicine in its original packaging until
it is time to take it.
After opening, keep your eye drops in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C. Protect from light. Keep it
where children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
Keep your eye drops in the bottle until it is time to use them.
If you use the eye drops out of the bottle they may not keep well.
Discard unused eye drops within one month.
Do not store your medicine, or any other medicine, in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it on a window sill or in
the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
If your doctor or pharmacist tells you to stop taking this medicine or it has passed its expiry date, your pharmacist can
dispose of the remaining medicine safely.
APO-Chloramphenicol Eye Drops should be discarded within one month after opening.
What APO-Chloramphenicol Eye Drops looks like
APO-Chloramphenicol Eye Drops are in 10 mL plastic dropper bottle.
Each 1mL of APO-Chloramphenicol Eye Drops contains 5 mg of chloramphenicol.
It also contains the following inactive ingredients:
Australian Registration Numbers
APO-Chloramphenicol Eye Drops (plastic bottle): AUST R 222547.
Apotex Pty Ltd
16 Giffnock Avenue
Macquarie Park NSW 2113
APO and APOTEX are registered trade marks of Apotex Inc.
This leaflet was last updated in September 2014.