ClickCease Commonly Used Eye Drops for Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) | Easy Drug Card
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Commonly Used Eye Drops for Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

When the translucent membrane that borders your eyelid and covers the white area of your eyeball becomes inflamed or infected, pink eye (conjunctivitis) occurs. Small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become more apparent as they get irritated causing the whites of your eyes to seem crimson or pink.

A bacterial or viral infection, an allergic reaction, or in infancy, an incompletely opened tear duct are the most common causes of pink eye.

Though pink eye might be bothersome, it seldom causes vision problems. Pink eye can be relieved with a variety of treatments. Because most types of pink eye are contagious, it is best to diagnose and treat it as soon as possible. After being diagnosed, your doctor may prescribe prescription eye drops for pink eye. 

Types Of Pink Eye

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic for bacterial conjunctivitis, which is usually given topically as eye drops or ointment. Antibiotics could help shorten the duration of the infection, reduce complications, and the transmission of illness to others [1]. In the following situations, antibiotics may be required:

  • If conjunctivitis strikes those with a weakened immune system
  • When certain types of resistant bacteria are suspected
  • If the eye contains mucous or “discharge”
  • If vision becomes affected 
  • If the eye becomes especially painful

Mild bacterial conjunctivitis may improve without the use of antibiotics. It usually improves in 2 to 5 days without therapy, although it can take up to two weeks to entirely disappear.

Discuss the best treatment choices for your infection with your doctor.

Viral Conjunctivitis

Up to 80% of pink eye is viral, and the majority of viral conjunctivitis cases are minor. Without treatment, the infection normally clears itself in 7 to 14 days with no long-term repercussions. On the other hand, viral conjunctivitis might take up to 3 weeks to clear up in certain circumstances. Although this form is usually self-limiting, it is highly contagious and precautions should be taken to reduce the spread to others.

Antiviral medicine might be prescribed by a doctor to treat more severe cases of conjunctivitis which may include blurred vision and eye pain. 

Allergic Conjunctivitis

When an allergen (such as pollen or animal dander) causes conjunctivitis, the condition typically improves once the allergen is removed from the person’s environment. Allergy drugs and specific eye drops (topical antihistamines and vasoconstrictors), including some prescription eye drops, can help with allergic conjunctivitis relief. In rare circumstances, your doctor may prescribe multiple medications to help you feel better.

Prescription Eye Drops For Pink Eye

The most common treatment for bacterial conjunctivitis is antibiotic eye drops, but they aren’t always necessary. The majority of bacterial pink eye episodes are minor and heal on their own in one to two weeks without therapy. However, these are some of the common antibiotic prescription eye drops used to treat pink eye.

  • Erythromycin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Polymixin B
  • Trimethoprim 
  • Bacitracin
  • Levofloxacin
  • Azithromycin
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Ofloxacin
  • Moxifloxacin

Stronger prescription antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers, usually in the form of eye drops, may be beneficial in more severe cases of allergic conjunctivitis. They include:

  • Nedocromil
  • Alcaftadine
  • Cromolyn
  • Epinastine
  • Lodoxamide
  • Bepotastine
  • Azelastine
  • Emedastine

Side effects are possible with every drug. These are usually modest, but their severity can vary.

Slight burning or stinging, impaired vision, and light sensitivity are all possible mild side effects. However, some medications can cause more serious adverse effects, such as worsening irritation or redness, eye pain, or substantial vision problems.

Although the above are some of the main reasons a person may notice eye redness, it is highly recommended to visit your optometrist or ophthalmologist for confirmation as some eye diseases can look like pink eye, but actually be something else that requires a different treatment. If you ever experience eye pain or blurred vision with a red eye it is recommended to seek care from a professional. 

Prescription Eye Drop Discounts

Get discounts on your prescription eye drops for pink eye by using Easy Drug Card to receive up to an 80% discount! Get your pre-Activated RX Discount Card and use it at any of the 65,000+ participating pharmacies around the country, including most major chain stores like Walgreens, CVS, and Rite-Aid, as well as tiny community pharmacies. Visit our website to receive your Easy Drug Card today! 


“Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)” Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, 11 June 2021,

“Pink eye (conjunctivitis)” The Mayo Clinic, 11 June 2021,

“Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)” Harvard Health Publishing, 11 June 2021,

“Conjunctivitis: What Is Pink Eye?” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 11 June 2021,

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Dr. Andrea M. Jones

Dr. Andrea M. Jones is a clinical pharmacist specializing in transitions of care to facilitate a smooth transition for patients between the hospital and outpatient settings. Dr. Jones graduated from the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy and completed post-graduate year 1 residency at the Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System in Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Jones also worked in retail/community pharmacies for over 5 years during undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky and pharmacy school at the University of Colorado.




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