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FDA Approves Besivance to Treat Bacterial Conjunctivitis

May 28, 2009 -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Besivance (besifloxacin ophthalmic suspension 0.6 percent) for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis (non-viral), a contagious condition marked by irritation of the eyes and a discharge from the mucous membranes.

"Bacterial conjunctivitis is a common condition that affects people of all ages," said Wiley A. Chambers, M.D., acting director of the Division of Anti-Infective and Ophthalmology Products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "It is important to have a variety of treatment options available to health care professionals and patients because an effective drug therapy can reduce the duration of the illness and reduce the chances of infecting others."

Bacterial forms of conjunctivitis are common in childhood, but they can occur in people of any age. Symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis can include red eyes, swelling, eyelids sticking together, itching, watering and a white or yellow sticky discharge from the eyes. Bacterial conjunctivitis is generally a condition that runs its course in 7-14 days.

Patients using the drug in clinical trials had a faster rate of resolution of the infection than those treated with a solution containing only a preservative. The drug was shown to be effective in treating patients age one year and older.

Adverse events were reported in less than 3 percent of patients in clinical trials. Adverse reactions included redness of the eyes, blurred vision, eye pain, irritation and itching, and headache. Besivance is an eye drop for topical use on the eyes only. It should not be injected into the eye.

Besivance is made by Bausch & Lomb, Rochester, N.Y.

Source: Food and Drug Administration

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