British doctors are lagging behind their American counterparts in their continued prescription of anti bacterial eyedrops.

Eyedrops containing chloramphenicol have been linked to various side effects for the eye, and even bonemarrow depression, aplastic anaemia and in one case, death.

Although it is not known whether chlormaphenicol is the actual cause of these diseases, some ophthalmologists in the UK believe it’s high time they follow their US counterparts’ example particularly as there are other safer, equally effective and economical preparations available.

One study found three patients in the UK with serious haemotological diseases who had used the eye drops one of whom died. By comparison, a study in the US found that not one of more than 400 patients with aplastic anaemia had ever had this preparation prescribed. Such a discrepancy between UK and US medical practice is unusual (BMJ, 1998; 316: 1903).

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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