The Pharmacist’s Role in Managing Microbial Keratitis

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Microbial keratitis is an acute infection of the cornea that can be caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, or Acanthamoeba. Contamination of eye drops because of improper use or storage, ophthalmic use of steroids, contact lens wear, and certain systemic diseases, such as diabetes and HIV, are risk factors for developing microbial keratitis. Pharmacists can educate patients about the risk factors relevant to them and on proper use and storage of eye drops and contact lenses. Pharmacists should also be aware of the signs and symptoms of microbial keratitis so that patients can be referred for immediate medical attention. Many of the antimicrobials used for treating keratitis are not commercially available as eye drops and require compounding. Pharmacists may compound eye drops or assist prescribers and patients in finding a pharmacy licensed to compound ophthalmic products.


This article was originally published in U.S. Pharmacist in July 2018.


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