Oral tetracycline in the treatment of recurrent corneal erosions

Eye (Lond). 1994:8 ( Pt 4):384-8. doi: 10.1038/eye.1994.91.


We report the results of a prospective, randomised controlled, 24 week trial to assess the efficacy of oral tetracycline and oral tetracycline with topical prednisolone in the treatment of recalcitrant recurrent corneal erosions, i.e. those which fail to respond to standard therapy. A total of 30 patients were randomly allocated to either standard treatment (group A), standard treatment and oral tetracycline (group B) or standard treatment, oral tetracycline and topical prednisolone (group C). Treatment groups B and C were instructed to perform daily lid hygiene. There was a significant reduction in the number of recurrent corneal erosions during the 24 week study period in group B (p = 0.04) and in group C (p = 0.0003) but not in group A (p = 0.66). There was a significant difference in the accelerated healing time of recurrent corneal microerosions between groups A and B (p = 0.001) and between groups A and C (p = 0.001). There was a significant improvement in the symptom scores during the study in treatment groups B and C (p = 0.005) but not in group A (p = 0.15). We conclude that lid hygiene and oral oxytetracycline 250 mg twice daily for 12 weeks with or without topical prednisolone for the first 7 days is beneficial in the management of recalcitrant recurrent corneal erosions.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Corneal Diseases / complications
  • Corneal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Eyelid Diseases / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meibomian Glands
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxytetracycline / administration & dosage*
  • Prednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Prednisolone
  • Oxytetracycline