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Fluoroquinolone antibacterial eye drops: effects on normal human corneal epithelium, stroma, and endothelium

Authors Watanabe R, Nakazawa T, Yokokura S, Kubota A, Kubota H, Nishida K

Published 7 October 2010 Volume 2010:4 Pages 1181—1187


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Ryou Watanabe, Toru Nakazawa, Shunji Yokokura, Akira Kubota, Hisayo Kubota, Kohji Nishida
Department of Ophthalmology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Japan

Background: In vitro studies have suggested the corneal cytotoxicity of third-generation fluoroquinolone levofloxacin (LVFX) and fourth-generation fluoroquinolone moxifloxacin hydrochloride (MFLX) among fluoroquinolone antibacterial eye drops. This study investigated the effects of these two eye drops on the human cornea in vivo.
Methods: We evaluated 30 healthy adults (19 men and 11 women, 38.3 ± 6.3 years old). Each subject received an LVFX ophthalmic solution 0.5% in one eye and an MFLX ophthalmic solution 0.5% in the other eye three times daily for 7 days. Functional and morphological corneal changes before and after instillation were evaluated through ophthalmic examinations including breakup time of tear film (BUT) as measured by fluorescein staining and DR-1, Schirmer I test, Heidelberg Retina Tomograph II Rostock Cornea Module (HRTII-RCM), specular microscope, and Pentacum examination.
Results: Both the LVFX and MFLX groups had no significant change in each examination before and after instillation. There was also no statistically significant difference in measurements after the 7-day instillation between the groups.
Conclusion: Our study results suggest that as with LVFX, MFLX used in a normal clinical setting is unlikely to cause any obvious adverse effects on human normal cornea.

Keywords: cornea, fluoroquinolones, ocular surface, toxicity

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