Medicine for Pink Eye
Although there is no cure or medicine for pink eye caused by a virus, many over-the-counter products can be used to relieve symptoms while your body takes care of the infection on its own. For bacterial conjunctivitis, however, various antibiotic drops or ointments are available by prescription to speed up the healing process. Medicines are also available for the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis.
An Overview of Pink Eye Medicines
Depending on the type of pink eye, your healthcare provider may recommend one or several different types of medicine. Some of these may treat the pink eye, as is the case with bacterial conjunctivitis. Other medications may be used to treat the symptoms.
Medications for Viral Pink Eye
There is no medicine that cures viral conjunctivitis (pink eye caused by a virus). Rather, medications help treat the symptoms while the body takes care of the infection.
The following medicines can help relieve itching or irritation caused by pink eye:
- Over-the-counter antihistamine/decongestant drops. These are available at the pharmacy and go by several names, including Ocuhist®, Naphcon-A®, and Visine® AC, to name a few.
- Eye lubricant drops or ointment. A number of different brands of artificial tears are available at the pharmacy without a prescription. This includes Hypotears®, Refresh Tears®, Tears Plus®, and many others. Use these throughout the day as needed.
- An eye ointment also may be used (such as Lacrilube® or Refresh PM®). These can provide longer relief than the drops can. Because they can cause some temporary blurring, some people use them at bedtime.