Fusidic acid 1% and chloramphenicol 0.5% eye drops were in a randomized, single-blind manner given as a one-week treatment to out-patients with acute, purulent conjunctivitis. A clinical success was recorded in 84% (102/121) of patients receiving fusidic acid and in 81% (104/129) of patients receiving chloramphenicol. More patients (14%) receiving chloramphenicol complained of trivial side effects such as stinging and local discomfort, compared with fusidic acid (5%). No serious side effects were recorded. It is concluded that fusidic acid dispensed in a carbomer eye vehicle represents an effective and well tolerated new topical eye preparation with the advantage of being administered twice daily.