A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.
Azyter eye drops are used to treat bacterial infections of the eye (usually purulent bacterial conjunctivitis and trachoma conjunctivitis). This is an antibiotic medication that acts locally to clear up the infection by killing the bacterial causing it. Azyter eye drops can be used by both adults and children. This medication is administered as one drop twice a day over 3 days to treat bacterial inflammation of the eye.
What is Azyter?
Azyter eye drops are a single dose treatment for bacterial eye infections. The most common of these infections are:
- Purulent bacterial conjunctivitis (a common eye infection)
- Trachoma conjunctivitis (an eye infection caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis which is usually found in developing countries)
The active ingredient in Azyter eye drops is azithromycin which is part of the group of macrolide antibiotics. These impede bacterial growth so are often used to treat bacterial infections. Bacteria need certain proteins to grow and spread. Azithromycin fights these proteins and stops them reproducing and increasing. As well as killing existing bacteria it can also prevent further infection by assisting the body’s immune system to kill bacteria that may appear in the future. This is a single dose medication that comes in 15 mg/g containers. It is in the form of a clear, colourless to slightly yellow oily liquid.
When is Azyter used?
Azyter eye drops are used to treat bacterial eye infections in both adults and children. They can be used for children from birth. A bacterial eye infection should not be confused with viral eye infections such as pink eye which cannot be treated and cured with antibiotics. Purulent bacterial conjunctivitis and trachoma conjunctivitis are the two main forms of conjunctivitis Azyter eye drops are used to treat. Purulent bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by an infection or allergies. If one eye is infected the other eye is likely to become infected too as this form of conjunctivitis is highly contagious. The infection can be spread by using pillows, towels, face cloths, makeup or makeup brushes that have been infected. To avoid catching a bacterial eye infection it is advisable not to share these items with anyone else.
When you have purulent bacterial conjunctivitis the eyes produce a sticky pus discharge that can cause blurred vision and the eyelids to stick together which can be very uncomfortable. The pus consists of infected blood cells. The eyes may also swell up and water with this condition. Trachoma conjunctivitis is also known as chlamydial conjunctivitis. This is a chronic infectious bacterial infection and if not treated trachoma conjunctivitis can cause decreased vision or the permanent loss of vision or deformities of the eyes, such as the eyelids turning inwards.
Blindness due to trachoma conjunctivitis is common in the poverty-stricken and underdeveloped areas of Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, India and Australia. It is common in younger children aged between 3 and 6 as children older than this are more likely to follow better hygiene procedures and have more immunity. Trachoma conjunctivitis can present as an epidemic in some of the poorer areas of the world. It spreads quickly and is highly contagious. As well as spreading through contact with hands and contaminated items it can also be transmitted by flies that settle on the eyes in hot countries.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) nearly 2 million people have gone blind due to this infection. The WHO has stated their intention to eliminate trachoma conjunctivitis by the year 2020.
How do you use Azyter?
You put Azyter eye drops directly into the eye using the single-dose container supplied. This is how to comfortably administer the eye drops:
- Wash your hands
- Position yourself in front of a mirror
- Gently wipe your eyes with a tissue or cotton wool soaked in a sterile solution (cooled boiled water) to clear any discharge
- Remove the lid
- ilt your head back towards your neck
- Pull the lower eyelid of the affected eye down gently and look up
- Using the dropper, gently squeeze one drop into the inside of the lower eyelid being careful not to touch your eye or lashes with the dropper as this can cause contamination and spread the infection
- Close your eye and press gently on the side of your nose where your nose meets the corner of your eye to help keep the drop in the eye and stop it draining away
- Blink several times with your head still tipped back to distribute the drop
- Wipe off any excess liquid with a tissue
- Repeat for the other eye if both are infected
It is particularly important to ensure the dropper does not come into contact with the eye surface as this could spread the infection from one eye to the other. You should not wear contact lenses when using Azyter eye drops as this could make your eye infection worse.If you find it difficult to insert the eye drops you might find someone doing it for you helps. After administering the eye drops dispose of the single-use container and do not use it again as this could spread the infection.
If your eye infection gets worse at any time while you are using Azyter eye drops you should make a review appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. If you forget to take a dose of this medication administer the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose then you should miss the forgotten dose as you should not take 2 doses close together. A double dose will not make your eye infection clear up any faster.
What dosages are there?
The usual dose for adults and children is one drop in the eye that has the infection twice a day for 3 days. This should be carried out morning and night at approximately the same time. The drops continue to work after you stop taking them so you should not take them for more than 3 days, even if you still have some signs of an infection. If the conjunctivitis does not start to clear up soon after this then you should make a review appointment to see a doctor.
You should not use Azyter eye drops for less than 3 days as they will not be effective. It is important to continue the course of treatment for maximum effect. If you stop the treatment too early the infection may return. If this happens for any reason check with your doctor before starting to use Azyter eye drops again.
What are the side effects of Azyter?
As with all medicines, Azyter eye drops can have side effects although not everyone will experience them. Different medications can affect people in different ways. The possible side effects can include:
- Irritation of the eye (stinging, itching, burning or a tingling sensation)
- Blurred vision
- Feeling like something is in your eye
- The feeling of sticky eye
- Watery or dry eyes
If you experience any side effects when using Azyter eye drops you should inform your doctor.
You may also have been prescribed more than one type of eye drop by your doctor. If this is the case you should wait for 15 minutes before administering the second drop to allow the first to be absorbed and not washed away by the second.
When shouldn’t you use Azyter?
Azyter eye drops may not be suitable for everyone. You should not use them if:
- You are allergic to any of the ingredients in this medication (see the package leaflet)
- You are allergic to azithromycin, other macrolide antibiotics or medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)
You should only use these eye drops in the eyes – they should never be taken orally. You can use Azyter eye drops if you are breastfeeding. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant you should inform your doctor before using these eye drops. There is no interaction between Azyter eye drops and alcohol. If Azyter eye drops cause your vision to blur for a while do not drive or operate machinery until your eyes are clear again.
Does Azyter interact with other medication?
Azyter eye drops should not interact with other medication. However, if you are using any other eye drops as well, you should use them first and your Azyter eye drops last. You should also ensure you wait 15 minutes between administering each different drop so the first is absorbed correctly.
Where can you buy Azyter?
You can only get Azyter eye drops with a prescription from a doctor.
Can I get Azyter without a prescription?
No, Azyter eye drops are not an over-the-counter medicine, you must have a prescription for them.
Package leaflet. Package Leaflet: Information for the patient. Azyter 15 mg/g, eye drops, solution in single-dose container. August, 2013. Retrieved 30 August, 2019 from zithromycin dihydrate https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/docomimg2.s3.amazonaws.com/leaflets/en/patient_information_leaflet-4589-azyter-uk.pdf-1510756510.pdf
Trachoma. (n.d). Retrieved 30 August, 2019 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/trachoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20378505
Report of the Fourteenth Meeting of the WHO Alliance for the Global Elimination of Blinding Trachoma. April 19-21, 2010. Retrieved 30 August, 2019 from https://www.who.int/blindness/publications/GET14_FINAL_REPORT.pdf
Marshall, H. (2014, September 14). How to use your eye drops. Retrieved 31 August, 2019 from https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/eye-care/a5330/how-to-use-your-eye-drops/
Morrow, G.L. (1998, February 15). American Family Physician. Conjunctivitis. Retrieved 31 August, 2019 from https://www.aafp.org/afp/1998/0215/p735.html
Roat, M.I. (April, 2018). Trachoma. (Egyptian Ophthalmia; Granular Conjunctivitis). Retrieved 31 August, 2019 from https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/eye-disorders/conjunctival-and-scleral-disorders/trachoma