Efficacy and safety of breast milk eye drops in infants with eye discharge

Acta Paediatr. 2021 Apr;110(4):1322-1329. doi: 10.1111/apa.15628. Epub 2021 Feb 25.


Aim: Breast milk (BM) contains various protective components, such as immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, lysozyme, oligosaccharides and immune cell subsets. We evaluated the effectiveness of BM eye drops in infants with eye discharge in a randomised controlled study.

Methods: Subjects were breastfed infants aged ≤180 days, with eye discharge. We randomly assigned patients to receive eye drops of BM or sodium azulene sulphonate hydrate 0.02% ophthalmic solution (OS). The patients received drop of BM or OS for 7 days. Improvement score of eye discharge in the groups was compared using a non-inferiority test.

Results: The number of patients improved eye discharge was 119/155 (76.8%) and 119/157 (75.8%) in BM and OS groups, respectively. There were no significant differences between groups. The improvement score in eye discharge was 1.76 ± 0.91 in the BM group and 1.71 ± 0.96 in the OS group. The BM group was considered non-inferior to the OS group.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that BM is no less effective than OS in infants with eye discharge aged ≤6 months. The results suggested that the use of breast milk as eye drops could be considered as a first-line treatment for infants aged ≤6 months with eye discharge.

Keywords: breast milk; eye discharge; eye drops; infant; non-inferiority test.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Breast Feeding
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Formula
  • Milk, Human*
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Patient Discharge*


  • Ophthalmic Solutions