Paediatric contraindication for chloramphenicol eye drops

Chloramphenicol eye drops should no longer be used in children under 2 years.

Chloramphenicol eye drops should no longer be supplied for children under 2 years as part of the Minor Ailment Service. | GETTY IMAGES
Chloramphenicol eye drops should no longer be supplied for children under 2 years as part of the Minor Ailment Service. | GETTY IMAGES

Chloramphenicol ointment update

This article was updated on 22nd April to clarify that not all chloramphenicol ointment products are unsuitable for use under 2 years and on 10th May to state that some are not indicated for use in this age group (rather than being contraindicated, as originally stated).

Chloramphenicol 0.5% eye drops contain boron, in the form of borax and boric acid, which may impair children's future fertility. These products are now contraindicated for use under 2 years.

Chloramphenicol 1% eye ointment does not contain boron but some manufacturers' products are not indicated for use under 2 years.

Details of the products updated can be found on the MIMS new and deleted indications tracker.

For information on excipients in eye products, including borax and boric acid, healthcare professionals can consult the quick-reference MIMS table of preservatives and potential sensitisers in ocular preparations.

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