Gentamicin is used topically in the treatment of superficial infections of the eye caused by susceptible bacteria.
Although most cases of mild bacterial conjunctivitis improve without anti-infective therapy, topical application of anti-infectives may shorten the infectious process. In addition, topical application of anti-infectives may reduce recurrence rate and morbidity associated with bacterial conjunctivitis.
Gentamicin also is used topically in conjunction with topical corticosteroids in some cases of bacterial ocular infections. Concomitant therapy with a corticosteroid may be used for steroid-responsive ocular inflammatory conditions for which a corticosteroid is indicated and where a superficial ocular bacterial infection or risk of ocular bacterial infection exists. However, the benefit of concomitant therapy must be weighed against reduced resistance to bacterial, fungal, or viral infections and suppression of signs and symptoms of infection or hypersensitivity.
For systemic uses of gentamicin, see the Aminoglycosides General Statement 8:12.02; for use in superficial infections of the skin, see 84:04.04.