What are the treatment options for Pseudomonas ear and eye infections?

Updated: Dec 17, 2018
  • Author: Selina SP Chen, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Ear and eye infections

  • Otitis media in at-risk populations should be treated with antipseudomonal agents for at least 10 days.

  • Chronic suppurative otitis media requires daily aural toilet and treatment with antibiotics (eg, ceftazidime, mezlocillin, ciprofloxacin), and often surgical treatment.

  • Otitis externa can be treated with local care using an acetic acid compress and daily aural cleaning.

  • Management of malignant externa otitis should be aggressive and involve both medical and surgical therapies. The conventional therapy (ie, an aminoglycoside and a beta-lactam agent with antipseudomonal activity) is needed for at least 4 weeks to treat localized infections and 6-8 weeks or longer to treat extensive disease. Monotherapy using ceftazidime intravenously (IV), cefepime IV, or ciprofloxacin PO for 6 weeks has been reported effective.

  • If gram-negative rods are isolated from the Gram stain of an eye infection, immediately start a combined topical and subconjunctival (or subtenon) therapy of aminoglycoside antibiotics. Aminoglycoside solution (not ointment) must be applied to the affected eye every 30-60 minutes. Subconjunctival therapy is needed for the first 3 days of treatment. Total duration of therapy is at least 1 week. An alternative therapy uses a quinolone antibiotic solution. The addition of parental or PO antipseudomonal antibiotics also has been beneficial.

  • Pseudomonal endophthalmitis requires immediate antibiotic therapy, using aminoglycoside and antipseudomonal penicillin administered via a parenteral and subconjunctival, topical, or intraocular route. Therapy duration depends on the clinical improvement.

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