Best Eye Drops for Pink Eye, Over the Counter, Prescription, Antibiotic Treatments for Conjunctivitis Relief

Are you looking for a quick eye drops relief for conjunctivitis? We have for you some best eye drops for pink eye including prescribed, antibiotics as well as over the counter (best OTC) options you can go for.

In summary

  • What eye drops for the pink eye should you use?
  • Which are some of the good antibiotics for pinkeye?
  • What are some of the best over the counter conjunctivitis medication?

If you are wondering what eye drops treat pink eye, it is worthwhile knowing that your choice will depend on what caused the condition in your special case. There are drops good for people whose condition is caused by allergic reactions, some will be good for viral conjunctivitis, while others are used for cases caused by a bacterial infection. For instance, the antibiotic drops will be good for patients whose condition is caused by bacteria and might not help if the cause is an allergic reaction.

Prescription Eye Drops for Pink Eye

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The best way to treat conjunctivitis is to first see a doctor to determine its cause before he or she can give you the right drops to use or a prescription. Depending on the cause, you can expect to be given tropical drops that can relieve the symptoms or combat some of the courses as well as some injections or oral medication.

Therefore prescription drops for conjunctivitis are those that can only be bought after a qualified medical practitioner has checked you and recommended or prescribed them for you. You cannot buy them without a prescription.

Antibiotic Eye drops for pink eye and Best Antibiotic Pink Eye Treatment Drops

If you are suffering from conjunctivitis caused by bacteria, you might need antibiotic eye solution or drops, in addition to other medication that a doctor will prescribe to you. Antibiotics will work by killing the bacteria and/or inhibit its growth. Some of the common prescription antibiotics for conjunctivitis or simply the best antibiotic pink eye treatment drops include the following:

Polytrim eye drops for pink eye

Polytrim Ophthalmic contains two brands of antibiotics i.e. Polymyxin B and Trimethoprim. The later stops bacterial growth while the former kills bacteria.

Gentamicin eye drops for pink eye

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Gentamicin Ophthalmic or Gentamicin Drops Ophthalmic is an antibiotic medication that belongs to the family of drugs called aminoglycoside antibiotics. It works by killing the bacteria in your eyes.

On its use, ensure you use it as directed by a physician. Some of the popular brand’s names include Garamycin, Gentak, among many others.

Ofloxacin eye drops pink eye

This is another good conjunctivitis solution or drop that belongs to the ophthalmic fluoroquinolone antibiotic it treats bacterial conjunctivitis as well as corneal ulcers.  It further helps in stopping further spread of the bacterial by killing bacteria that are susceptible while it stops the growth of others.

Vigamox drops for pink eye

Vigamox Ophthalmic is a prescription antibiotic for bacterial conjunctivitis that belongs to the family antibiotics known as quinolone. Vigamox eye solution has proven for a broad spectrum of bacteria that might cause this condition.

Sulfacetamide eye drops for pink eye

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Sulfacetamide Sodium Ophthalmic is a sulfa bacterial pink eye infection that belongs to a family of medication known as sulfa antibiotics. It stops the growth of bacteria and it is specifically for eyes.

Sulfapred Ophthalmic

This medication is used to treat conjunctivitis caused by bacteria since it has sulfacetamide which is an antibiotic that stops bacteria growth while prednisolone or corticosteroid will help reduce inflammation. This is also a sulfa conjunctivitis medication.

Prednisolone eye drops for pink eye

Another common one is Prednisolone Acetate Ophthalmic. Common brand names including Pred Forte, Pred Mild. It has a generic version such as prednisolone acetate. Prednisolone helps various symptoms of eye infection such as redness, swelling and itching that can be caused by injuring or inflammation. It prevents the release of body substances that often cause inflammation.

Patanol for conjunctivitis infection (olopatadine ophthalmic)

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This eye solution or drops will only be prescribed for conjunctivitis if it is caused by allergic reactions. It will not be good for any other cause of conjunctivitis.  It helps in relieving some of the common symptoms caused by an allergic reactions.

Steroid and antibiotic eye drops for pink eye

These are prescription eye drops for pink eye made by combining one or more types of antibiotics and various steroids. It comes as a suspension and ointment.  Steroids help in reducing inflammation while antibiotics will treat your bacterial infection. Generic steroid drops are also available.

The common steroids used include hydrocortisone, prednisolone, loteprednol, and dexamethasone while the common antibiotics used include tobramycin, bacitracin, neomycin, gentamycin and polymixin B. They come in various brands names such as Catapred, Blephamide, Poly- Tobradex, Pred-G, Isopto, Pred, Zylet among many others.

You need to use these drops 1-3 times a day and if you get the ointment, you need to apply a half an inch 3-4 times a day.  There is not sufficient studies to support the use of this medication during pregnancy.

Similarly, lactating mothers are only limited to using steroids containing medication since it gets secreted in milk when they take pills or have injections. There are no adequate studies on the effect when used on your eyes.

Side effects include swelling, redness, irritation, and itching on your eyes. Rare side effects include cataract formation, optic nerve damages as well as glaucoma.

Other Common Prescription

Other common prescribed eye solutions and drops include the following:

  • Chloramphenicol – Often recommended for people with infections bacterial conjunctivitis
  • Fusidic acid – more commonly prescribed during pregnancy, to children and elderly people.

Over the counter pink eye drops, best OTC for Pink Eye or Non-Prescription

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Over-the-counter pink eye drops, at times known are OTC eye drops are medication that does not need a doctor’s or pharmacist’s prescription to buy them. They will be good at relieving the general symptoms that are caused by conjunctivitides such as inflammation, itching, or eye redness and other symptoms of eye infection and conditions such as dry eyes.

The OTC conjunctivitis medication can be classified into mainly artificial tears, ointments, antihistamines as well as a decongestant.  It is worthwhile to note that if you opt for over the counter medication for pink eye, you will be relieving symptoms and not treating the condition especially for the bacterial infection.

Artificial Tears

These over the counter pink eye treatment products are basically lubricant eye drops you can also buy to relieve the various symptoms. They are free of preservatives and safe for your eyes. Furthermore, synthetic water-based lubricants found in suspension or solutions used to ease some of the conjunctivitis symptoms. They can be good for people suffering from viral conjunctivitis by relieving the symptoms as you wait to improve.

Some of the best over the counter eye drops for a pink eye does contain antihistamines that can help relieve symptoms of conjunctivitis caused by allergic reactions. Some of the best OTC drops for conjunctivitis in this category of artificial tears include:

1. Similasan eye drops for pink eye (Homeopathic eye drop)

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Similasan irritated Eye Relief is an over the counter homeopathic eye drop for the pink eye which is good in relieving the various symptoms of eye infections including those of conjunctivitis, dry, gritty, watering, burning or stings eyes.

Similasan homeopathic irritated eye relief drops is good for symptoms of this infection that might be related to your environment or viral conjunctivitis. Generally, these Similasan does not sting, burn or irritate your eyes. Although it is an OTC if you intend to use it for young kids whose age is below 2 years, ensure a doctor has seen them first.

According to [], Similasan products stimulate the body’s natural defenses by utilizing “micro dilutions” of natural active ingredients. This system of medicine is known as homeopathy.

2. Antazoline and Xylometazoline eye drops

Antazoline and Xylometazoline over the counter pink eye treatment medication is good in fighting allergy symptoms such as hay fever and works as an anti-inflammatory

Other common OTC pink eye relief drops (tears) brands include Eyebright Drops by Wisdom of the Ages, AquaSite, Celluvisc, Bion Tears, Gen Teal, Duratears, HypoTears, OcuCoat, Liquifilm Tears, Tears Naturale, Refresh, Systane, and TheraTears


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Whereas their medications do not act on allergens, they could help reduce eye inflammation and other symptoms you might be experiencing.  For people who have conjunctivitis, Phenylephrine is often recommended. It helps in shrinking swollen blood vessels and thus reducing some symptoms.

Other than Phenylephrine, there is are a group of longer-acting decongestants known as imidazoles (naphazoline, tetrahydrozoline, and oxymetazoline) which is contained in OTC drops for eyes such as Prefrin, Opcon A and Naphcon. Each of these decongestants might have their own side effects.

Eye Ointments

These over the counter pinkeye medications work as lubricants and some common brands include Refresh PM, Moisture Eyes PM and Lacri-Lube that remain longer in your eyes as opposed to water-based eye drops.


Antihistamine is a good pink eye relief drops. These medications will inhibit the production of histamine that might be responsible for your case. Whereas you can buy antihistamines over the counter, stronger types might require a prescription.

Note: There should not be counter antibiotic eye drops for pinkeye unless you have seen a doctor or a pharmacist to confirm if you really have bacterial conjunctivitis.

Eye drops for a pink eye for kids, toddlers and children

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Conjunctivitis is often affected by kids since it can spread from one child to another as they are playing in school. Just like in adults, you can use antibiotic eye drops as well as over the counter medication. However, if the kid is less than two years, ensure you seek a doctor’s approval before buying any over the counter conjunctivitis medicine.

Where to buy eye drops for conjunctivitis

Unless you are buying over the counter medications, you need a prescription to be able to buy most of the medications we have mentioned above. You will get these medications from your leading pharmacies as well as drugstore including cvs, Walmart, Walgreens, etc.

I hope you now know what eye drops are used for pink eye and you understand what prescribed, and OTC drops are. Thank you.