Vigamox for Pink Eye in Kids

Moxifloxacin belongs to a group of broad spectrum antibiotics called fluoroquinolones.  Moxifloxacin is available as an oral tablet (Avelox) and an eye drop (Vigamox).  Many parents may recognize the name Vigamox because it has become many pediatricians’ drug of choice for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis also know as pink eye. This new found popularity is unfortunate because it is complete overkill for use in treating pink eye.

Conjunctivitis can be caused by a virus, bacteria, allergen or irritant in the eye.  Bacterial conjunctivitis is the typical, highly contagious pink eye with crusty, thick discharge that loves to infect our little ones. This is also the conjunctivitis that is relatively easy to treat with antibiotic eye drops.

Moxifloxacin eye drops work by inhibiting essential bacterial enzymes that leads to the destruction of the bacteria.  Moxifloxacin eye drops (Vigamox) have been approved for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis in children older than 1 year.  The typical dosing is one drop into each eye three times daily for seven days.

Common side effects of moxifloxacin ophthalmic drops (Vigamox) include dry and itchy eyes, blurry vision, broken blood vessels and a dull, burning pain in the eye.  Kids can also experience a weird taste, headache, rhinitis and throat irritation.

When giving the eye drops to a child, it is best to follow common precautions such as washing hands and not touching the container tip to the eye, lid, skin or other surface.  For best results, after putting drops in, have the child keep her eyes closed and apply slight pressure to the inside corner of the eye for 3 to 5 minutes.  This helps the medicine to be absorbed.  However, quite often the reality is getting a child to sit long enough to get the eye drop in can be difficult enough! It is important to note that the eye drop expires 28 days after opening.

Other eye drops in the same class include: ciprofloxacin (Ciloxan), ofloxacin (Ocuflox), levofloxacin (Quixin), besifloxacin (Besivance) and gatifloxacin (Zymar).  Within this class, gatifloxacin (Zymar), moxifloxacin (Vigamox) and besifloxacin (Besivance) are the strongest antibacterial eye drops.

Will moxifloxacin (Vigamox) treat my child’s pink eye? Not only will Moxifloxacin (Vigamox) treat your child’s bacterial conjunctivitis, it will over treat it!  Using Moxifloxacin (Vigamox) to treat common pink eye is like killing an ant with a rocket launcher .  Additionally, it is only available in brand name, so it can do some damage to your wallet.

Fluoroquinolone ophthalmic drops should be reserved for use only for patients that wear contacts.  For most kids suffering from pink eye, moxifloxacin (Vigamox) should not be used as first line treatment because it is expensive, unnecessary and common use can lead to bacterial resistance.

We usually treat bacterial conjunctivitis because it is uncomfortable, has a high gross factor, is super contagious and easily treatable.   However, the truth is, most kids don’t need to be treated and the pink eye will clear up within five days

Highly effective, inexpensive alternatives to the fluoroquinolone ophthalmic drops are erythromycin ointment (Ilocytin), sulfacetamide drops (Bleph-10) and polymixin/trimethoprim drops (Polytrim). The ointment is recommended in any patient that may be difficult to administer drops to –i.e. kids!  This is because the ointment stays on the lids and can help treat the pink eye even if it is doubtful that the medicine reached the actual conjunctiva.

Bottom line…the best primary treatment for bacterial pink eye is erythromycin ointment –an oldie but goodie!

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27 comments

  1. very helpful…but, i wish i read this prior to my child being prescribed VIGAMOX for his conjunctivitis…$45 dollars later I’m still not convinced it did anything other than help the president of ALCON take a vacation with his wife…

  2. $45 – we paid $75 and it was for my 6 month old which after reading this article, it sounds like it’s only approved for ages 1 and up…..

  3. $35 for a 3-4 day prescription. My son better be crying platinum teardrops by the time it’s gone.

  4. I just went to pick up my son’s prescription for Vigamox and it was over $126! I refused to take it and I am calling the doctor back for a different prescription. I was wondering if Ciprofloxacin is okay to treat pink eye in children? It’s MUCH cheaper!

  5. Mine still works completely the same one year after opening. It has not “expired.” Still does the trick even within one day! 🙂

  6. thank you so much for the advice and info. my son got pink eye and we got drops that he absolutely refused to take!! it was a 45 min. battle each times and at 6 times a day, enough to make me crazy. just knowing there was another option is great :~) i called the dr and got the ointment, now he is putting it in himself 2 times a day!!!! we have a very happy little boy and mom :~) thank you!!!

  7. My 5 year daughter had pink eyes ,I came to know yeasterday in the evening and called dr. she prescribed Vigamox on phone, it cost me $100 …..yep ……….but even after eye drops she is not comfortable……she can not even open her eyes….wonder how long its gonna take to cure………

  8. vigamox is a total ripoff! Are all these medications prescrived? How about the $5 medication?

  9. Hi Abigail, Yes they are all by prescription but most physicians will call in a change to the pharmacy if you request them to. Physicians are aware that the alternatives work just as well.

  10. Vigamox is a total rip off. $88 at Meijer Pharmacy. Despite the $84 price difference, it does nothing that tobramycin can’t do. If your doctor prescribes Vigamox, ask him/her to explain his/her decision. If the explanation is not to your satisfaction, request a less costly alternative.

  11. Called my doctor (Sat.) as my younger daughter has pink eye symptoms: hurting red eye that is sensitive to light and was yucky when she woke up. Reminded him that my oldest daughter was prescribed Vigamox previously, so he called in the script. I called the pharmacy to confirm that the script was ready for pick up and he quoted $94 after my PPO HIGH – United Health Care Insurance! I couldn’t believe it 🙁 I told them to call the doctor back for a cost effective alternative (no way I payed more than $30 2 yrs ago) and he then prescribed “Tobramycin Ophthalmic Solution” which cost me $13.88 and is also taken 3-4 times a day. Thank goodness! I’ll send a follow up review in a few days

  12. The on time I do not go to the Dr with my dtr….he orders this antibiotic. She fills it ($100.00) and calls me on the way home. I called Walgreens and sid we are returnig and changing this order. Walgreens said I could not return the med after it left the store. Lesson learned!! I will always go to the Dr with my dtr!! Or if I can’t be there, I will not let her leave Walgreens until she calls me for approval. Dr’s need to tink about te cost to pt when prescribing. This is stressed in my program (I am a 3rd year nurse practitoner student). What a waste of money. It is clearly not a first line of treatment for pink eye!

  13. Just left Walmart pharmacy and even with my crappy insurance it was still $98. Wow a whole $22 the insurance saved me! Left that mess there and realized I had some Tobramycin drops unopened at home. Next time I will request the ointment!

  14. As much as I cringe with the price – this is the only stuff that works – it usually works after 1 day of using….super pricey – we call it the golden drops – letting them miss the eye costs you $10 each day b/c its so pricey! Good luck – but the stuff works like magic!

  15. Vigamox 0.5% is also the prescribed drug of choice for folks who are getting cataract surgery. I am seeing copays of $40 to 80 on this thread but my mom’s charge is $300+ at Walmart. (She is on Medicare and has Anthem as her Medicare supplement/RX coverage) A couple of other local pharmacies charge more than $300. I wonder what’s going on? I’ve visited a message board about the company that makes Vigamox and some of the employees are admitting that doctors receive fees (kickbacks) of $50K to $250K depending on how many Vigamox scripts they write. I’m going to contact her doctor’s office tomorrow morning and request something more affordable. What a scam.

  16. I know I’m late to the party on this thread but hopefully someone will find some value in what I’m trying to say. After calling the doctor’s office and requesting one of FIVE alternatives to Vigamox, any of them, please – the staff member refuses to make a substitution over the phone. They are requiring that my mother come to the office and sign off on paperwork acknowledging that yes, yes she understands that she will be in GRAVE DANGER of a VERY DANGEROUS EYE INFECTION if she decides to go with an alternative. I think it’s really crappy that they are shaking down old people and scaring them into buying this product. Thankfully, my mother is not on a fixed income, she can waste her money on this over-priced medication but imagine people who are trying to get by on $400 or $500 a month, on Social Security. This prescription is creating a financial hardship for a lot of people. Alcon and these doctors should be ashamed of themselves. I don’t know about you people but I’m filing a consumer complaint with the Secretary of State’s office – this is fraudulent to present Vigamox and the ONLY SAFE antibiotic – which is what they are doing. You don’t need a chemistry degree or a medical degree to understand that there are plenty of very safe and affordable alternatives to Vigamox. Okay. Rant over. Have a nice day.

  17. I know this web page presents quality depending posts and other data, is there any other website which gives these kinds of information in quality?

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