Topical azithromycin as a novel treatment for ocular rosacea

Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2013 Oct;21(5):371-7. doi: 10.3109/09273948.2013.801991. Epub 2013 Jul 22.


Purpose: Acne rosacea is a common dermatological conditions associated with blepharitis. Current treatments include artificial tears, lid hygiene, and systemic doxycycline. In this study the authors evaluate the effectiveness of topical azithromycin in ocular rosacea.

Methods: The authors enrolled 37 ocular rosacea patients: 12 were treated with systemic doxycycline, 16 with azithromycin eyedrops, and 9 did not receive medical treatments. Ocular signs and symptoms and side effects were evaluated at baseline and at 1-month follow-up.

Results: A significant improvement in TF-BUT, meibomian gland plugging, and Oxford score associated with symptom reduction was reported by all patients after 1 month. All treatments were well tolerated, with mild gastro-intestinal symptoms in 33% of the doxycycline group and mild burning after instillation in the azithromycin group.

Conclusions: Topical azithromycin may represent an additional treatment for ocular rosacea, with a shorter duration of treatment and absence of gastrointestinal side effects as compared to systemic doxycycline.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Azithromycin / administration & dosage*
  • Conjunctival Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Eyelid Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rosacea / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Azithromycin