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April 2010 Newsletter

Lee Williams, D.O.

Dr. Williams is performing a single-blinded clinical trial comparing Polytrim and Moxifloxacin for treatment of conjunctivitis. Children with bacterial conjunctivitis are responsible for 1 percent of all emergency room visits and 2 percent of primary care visits each year.  Topical antibiotics are proven to shorten the course of bacterial conjunctivitis by both clinical symptoms and microbiological clearance.  Polymyxin B-trimethoprim ophthalmic and Moxifloxacin ophthalmic are both proven to be effective in treating bacterial conjunctivitis but have never been tested against each other.  Because Moxifloxacin is several fold more expensive than  Polytrim, proving that these two treatments are equally efficacious could potentially ease the economic burden of using the more expensive treatment.  To do this a single-blinded, randomized clinical trial of children ages 1-17 with bacterial conjunctivitis is being performed. Patients are treated with either Polymyxin B-trimethoprim or Moxifloxacin drops.  Clinical signs and symptoms and conjunctival swabs are obtained at the initial visit, a phone call to assess clinical improvement is made on days 4-6 and an office follow-up with a conjunctival swab is done on days 8-10.  A predicted 150 patients will be enrolled in this study. This study will define whether there is a demonstrable benefit to using the more expensive newer antibiotic. If there is not a benefit our results will result in potential cost savings of millions of dollars in the U.S.