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Minerva Oftalmologica 2018 September;60(3):150-4

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4903.18.01803-2

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Antibiotic/corticosteroid combination in ophthalmic ointments: biopharmaceutical and clinical considerations

Carla M. CARAMELLA 1 , Andrea VALLI 2

1 Department of Drug Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy; 2 Private Practitioner, Turin, Italy



We considered the characteristics of ophthalmic ointments based on corticosteroid/antibiotic associations both from a biopharmaceutical point of view and from a clinical point of view. Ophthalmic ointments have numerous advantages; for example, thanks to their newtonian rheological behaviour, they do not lose viscosity once applied thus ensuring contact with the conjunctiva for longer periods than the other formulations, a fundamental characteristic in ocular pathologies in which a protective action and a long stay of the drug at the site of action is required. They provide the possibility of conveying fixed combinations of drugs with different physico-chemical properties such as Betabioptal ointment whose active ingredients, chloramphenicol, a broad-spectrum antibiotic and betamethasone, a long-acting glucocorticoid, poorly soluble in water, are nevertheless soluble in the ointment base, which appears clear and transparent. Betabioptal ointment formulation offers an adequate balance between lipophilic and hydrophilic properties, and continues to represent, from the biopharmaceutical point of view, an actual formula that adheres to the modern principles of pharmaceutical technology. From a clinical point of view, in some instances, the ointment remains an indispensable and effective formulation, possibly associated with eye drops, both for the long permanence and for the lubricating effect. Its effectiveness is recognized in some postoperative situations, in non-ophthalmic operations performed under general anaesthesia where cornea protection with an ointment is appropriate, in the emergency room when occlusive dressing is necessary, in traumatology and at night. The ointment therefore remains a formulation always to consider and prefer or to associate with other formulations according to the ophthalmic requirements.


KEY WORDS: Ointments - Adrenal cortex hormones - Anti-bacterial agents - Ophthalmic administration - Topical antibiotic - Corticosteroid

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