Corneal penetration of levofloxacin into the human aqueous humour: a comparison with ciprofloxacin

Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2003 Dec;81(6):611-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1395-3907.2003.00173.x.


Purpose: To compare aqueous humour levels of levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin following topical application to patients scheduled for cataract surgery.

Methods: A total of 59 patients undergoing cataract surgery were randomly assigned to topical treatment with either levofloxacin 0.5% or ciprofloxacin 0.3% eye drops, at one drop every 15 min for four doses immediately prior to surgery. Aqueous humour samples were collected by paracentesis and analysed for drug content.

Results: The (geometric) mean aqueous humour concentration of levofloxacin was 0.728 microg/ml; that of ciprofloxacin was 0.080 microg/ml.

Conclusions: Levofloxacin achieves 9.1 times the aqueous humour concentration of ciprofloxacin. It could be considered a better choice than ofloxacin or ciprofloxacin for topical ophthalmic use.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Aged
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Aqueous Humor / metabolism*
  • Biological Availability
  • Cataract Extraction
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Ciprofloxacin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Cornea / metabolism*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levofloxacin*
  • Male
  • Ofloxacin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Ophthalmic Solutions


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Levofloxacin
  • Ofloxacin