The prescription eye drop Zymaxid is used only for conjunctivitis that is caused by bacteria. It cannot treat infections that are caused by viruses or other causes. As a fluoroquinolone, it works by interfering with certain enzymes necessary for bacteria to reproduce. Children as young as one year old can use this medicine, as well as older adults.
What Is Zymaxid Used For?Zymaxid™ (gatifloxacin) is an antibiotic eye drop licensed to treat bacterial conjunctivitis, commonly called pink eye. It belongs to a group of medications known as fluoroquinolones.
Conjunctivitis is the medical term used to describe inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the thin membrane that lines the whites of the eyes and the inner eyelids. Conjunctivitis is sometimes called pink eye, because the conjunctiva often looks pink or red when it becomes inflamed.
There are many reasons why the conjunctiva may become inflamed, including an allergic reaction, eye irritation, or an infection with a virus or bacteria. Zymaxid is used to treat conjunctivitis caused by a bacterial infection. It will not work to treat other causes of conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis can occur in one or both eyes. Common symptoms may include:
- Pinkness or redness in the affected eye or eyes
- One or both eyes that are crusted over or "stuck shut" in the morning
- Eye itching or burning
- A sandy or gritty feeling in the eye
- Eye discharge, which can be watery or thick and clear or colored. The eye discharge is more likely to be thick and pus-like with a bacterial infection.
Conjunctivitis rarely causes permanent vision loss or eye damage. Bacterial conjunctivitis is highly contagious, however, so prompt medical treatment is important to prevent the spread from one eye to another, or from person to person.
(Click Pink Eye Transmission for more information about how conjunctivitis is spread.)