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Europe acts to restrict cox-2 use

I am a little horrified by the prospect of over-the-counter chloramphenicol eyedrops, a change that medical student Laura Weidner seemed to hail as a timesaving breakthrough (Letters, June 18).

We commonly see patients in the eye clinic who have been mistreated as 'conjunctivitis' in the community with severe damage from untreated uveitis.

The typical management cascade is chloramphenicol > fucithalmic > brolene > refer.

OTC availability of chloramphenicol will merely prolong this delay.

It is all too tempting to

diagnose any red eye as conjunctivitis and overlook more serious conditions.

I would also point out that the vast majority of conjunctivitis is of viral aetiology and should not receive antibiotic drops at all.

Mr Craig Goldsmith

Specialist Registrar in Ophthalmology

Norwich

Dr Ailsa Sheldon

GP, Norwich

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