Azyter eye drops are a single-dose treatment for bacterial eye infections, the most common being purulent bacterial conjunctivitis and trachoma conjunctivitis (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, and azithromycin fights these proteins and prevents them from 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 in the form of a clear, colourless to slightly yellow oily liquid. Azyter eye drops are used to treat bacterial infections of the eye (usually purulent bacterial conjunctivitis and trachoma conjunctivitis). It is an antibiotic medication that acts locally to clear up the infection by killing the bacteria causing it. Azyter eye drops can be used by both adults and children, administered as one drop twice a day over three 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 and trachoma conjunctivitis (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, and azithromycin fights these proteins and prevents them from 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 in the form of a clear, colourless to slightly yellow oily liquid.
When is Azyter used?
Azyter 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 which Azyter 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 also to become infected as this form of conjunctivitis is highly contagious and can be spread via 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 (consisting of infected blood cells) that can cause blurred vision and the eyelids to stick together, which can be very uncomfortable. The eyes may also swell up and water with this condition. Trachoma conjunctivitis, also known as chlamydial conjunctivitis, is a chronic infectious bacterial infection. If not treated, it can cause decreased 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 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 previously stated its intention to eliminate trachoma conjunctivitis by the year 2020.
How do you use Azyter?
Put Azyter drops directly into the eye using the single-dose container supplied. This is how to comfortably administer Azyter 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;
- Tilt 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 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 Azyter 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 drops, you should make a further 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 skip the forgotten dose, as you should not take two doses close together. A double dose will not make your eye infection clear up any more quickly.
What dosages are there?
The usual dose for adults and children is one Azyter drop in the eye that has the infection twice a day for three 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 three days, even if you still have some signs of an infection. If the conjunctivitis does not start to clear up soon after this, you should make a further appointment to see a doctor.
You should not use Azyter eye drops for less than three 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, the feeling that something is in your eye, and sticky, 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 should I not 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) or to azithromycin, other macrolide antibiotics or medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
You should only use these 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 drops. There is no interaction between Azyter eye drops and alcohol. If Azyter 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 drops last. You should also ensure you wait 15 minutes between administering each different drop, so that the first is absorbed correctly.
Where can I 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. 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
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
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