Penetration of ofloxacin in human aqueous and vitreous humors following oral and topical administration

Retina. 1998;18(6):521-5. doi: 10.1097/00006982-199806000-00005.


Purpose: To determine aqueous and vitreous humor ofloxacin levels following oral and topical application of ofloxacin in patients with noninflamed cornea and intact crystalline lens, and to compare the drug levels provided by each route.

Materials and methods: Twenty-six patients undergoing pars plana vitrectomy for various ocular pathologies were divided into two groups. Fourteen patients received two drops of 0.3% ophthalmic solution of ofloxacin every 30 minutes for 3 hours and every 60 minutes for the next 3 hours, and 12 patients received a single oral dose of 400 mg ofloxacin 8 hours before surgery. The aqueous and vitreous humor samples were simultaneously collected after oral or topical administration during pars plana vitrectomy to assess penetration of the drug. Samples were assayed for ofloxacin concentrations by a previously described method using high-performance liquid chromatography.

Results: The aqueous and vitreous humor levels of ofloxacin were 1.54 +/- 0.27 microg/mL (mean +/- standard error) and 1.77 +/- 0.24 microg/mL after oral and 1.44 +/- 0.24 microg/mL and 0.37 +/- 0.05 microg/mL after topical ofloxacin administration, respectively. Aqueous humor levels were not statistically different following oral or topical administration (P > 0.8). However, vitreous level of the drug after oral administration was significantly higher than that after topical administration (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Ocular bioavailability of ofloxacin in aqueous humor after oral and topical administration is similar when the drug is applied as described. Penetration of ofloxacin into vitreous humor is less than that into aqueous humor following topical application. The aqueous humor levels of ofloxacin via both routes and the vitreous level of the drug after oral route exceed the minimum inhibitory concentrations for certain bacterial species that frequently cause intraocular infection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Topical
  • Anti-Infective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Aqueous Humor / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ofloxacin / administration & dosage
  • Ofloxacin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Retinal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Retinal Diseases / metabolism
  • Retinal Diseases / surgery
  • Vitrectomy
  • Vitreous Body / metabolism*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Ofloxacin