The results of this clinical study demonstrate that ciprofloxacin ophthalmic solution 0.3% is as safe and as effective as 0.5% chloramphenicol ophthalmic solution in the treatment of conjunctivitis and blepharitis of bacterial aetiology. Both agents achieved microbiological improvement rates in excess of 90% after 1 week's treatment. On ciprofloxacin 93.5% of patients were judged clinically cured or improved versus 84.6% on chloramphenicol after 1 week. There were no serious adverse affects. One patient in each group suffered drug-related side-effects (chemosis, erythema) which resolved on discontinuation or changing of therapy. Cirpofloxacin is not associated with the rare, but serious, side effect of aplastic anaemia which is associated with chloramphenicol use. On the evidence of this study ciprofloxacin would appear to be an appropriate agent for general use as a topical ophthalmic formulation.