Topical Azithromycin 1% in acute management of inflammatory pterygium

  • Len V Hua | Pacific University College of Optometry, United States.
  • Ami Halvorson Pacific University College of Optometry, Forest Grove, OR, United States.
  • Blair Lonsberry Pacific University College of Optometry, Forest Grove, OR, United States.
  • Fraser Horn Pacific University College of Optometry, Forest Grove, OR, United States.


The purpose of the article is to investigate the effects of topical azithromycin 1% (Azasite) in treating acute ocular inflammation related to long standing pterygium. A prospective interventional study of 8 consecutive cases with pterygium presenting to our University Eye Clinics over the period of one month with acute symptoms of red eye(s) and irritation. After patient education and receipt of consent to the study, patients were treated with topical azithromycin 1% (Azasite) twice a day for the first two days and once a day for the next 12 days. Anterior segment photo was taken before treatment and 3-day and/or 7-day after treatment in addition to eye examination. Six out of the eight cases reported of significant improvement or resolution of signs and symptoms on the follow up visits. One severe case did not respond as well after a week of treatment and was successfully managed by topical prednisolone. Another case did not comply with the study protocol. In this small pilot study, Azasite was effective in management of acute mild to moderate ocular inflammation triggered by ocular surface disease, including pterygium. Severe ocular inflammation may require more potent anti-inflammatory therapy like topical steroids.
Bookmark and Share



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Len V Hua, Pacific University College of Optometry
I am an assistant professor at Pacific University of Oregon in the college of optometry.


Wilms EB, Touw DJ, Heijerman HG. Pharmacokinetics of azithromycin in plasma, blood, polymorphonuclear neutrophils and sputum during long-term therapy in patients with cystic fibrosis. Ther Drug Monit 2006;28:219–25.

Kuper H, Wormald R. Topical azithromycin: New evidence. BJO 2007;91:556–67.

Verleden GM, Vanaudenaerde BM, Dupont LJ, Van Raemdonck DE. Azithromycin reduces airway neutrophilia and interleukin-8 in patients with bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2006;174:566–70.

Aghai ZH, Kode A, Saslow JG, et al. Azithromycin suppresses activation of nuclear factor-кB and synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines in tracheal aspirate cells from premature infants. Pediatr Res 2007;62:483–8.

Schleimer RP. An overview of glucocorticoid anti-inflammatory actions. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1993;45 Suppl 1:S3–7.

Cheung PS , Si EC, Hosseini K. Anti-inflammatory Activity of Azithromycin as Measured by Its NF-кB Inhibitory Activity. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2010;18:32–7.

Gray GC, McPhate DC, Leinonen M, et al. Weekly oral azithromycin as prophylaxis for agents causing acute respiratory disease. Clin Infect Dis 1998;26:103–10.

Chui J, Coroneo MT, Tat LT, et al. Ophthalmic Pterygium: A Stem Cell Disorder with Premalignant Features. Am J Pathol 2011;178:817-27.

Pan HW, Zhong JX, Jing CX. Comparison of Fibrin Glue versus Suture for Conjunctival Autografting in Pterygium Surgery: A Meta-Analysis. Ophthalmology 2011;118:1049-54.

Efron N, Morgan PB, Katsara SS. Validation of grading scales for contact lens complications. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2001;21:17-29.

Gazzard G, Saw SM, Farook M, et al. Pterygium in Indonesia: prevalence, severity and risk factors. Br J Ophthalmol 2002;86:1341–6.

Moran DJ, Hollows FC. Pterygium and ultraviolet radiation: a positive correlation. Br J Ophthalmol 1984;68:343–6.

Detels R, Dhir SP. Pterygium: a geographical study. Arch Ophthalmol 1967;78:485–91.

Lekhanont K, Rojanaporn D, Chuck RS, Vongthongsri A. Prevalence of dry eye in Bangkok, Thailand. Cornea 2006;25:1162–7.

Siak JJ, Ng SL, Seet LF, et al. The nuclear-factor кB pathway is activated in pterygium. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2011;52:230-6.

Luchs J. Efficacy of topical azithromycin ophthalmic solution intreatment of posterior blepharitis. Adv Ther 2008;25:858-70.

Bowman LM, Si E, Pang J, et al. Development of a topical polymeric mucoadhesive ocular delivery system for azithromycin. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther 2009;25:133-9.

Li DQ, Zhou N, Zhang L, et al. Suppressive Effects of Azithromycin on Zymosan-Induced Production of Proinflammatory Mediators by Human Corneal Epithelial Cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2010;51:5623–9.

Rojas J, Ma´laga H. Pterygium in Lima, Peru. Ann Ophthalmol 1986;18:147–9.

Ma K, Xu L, Jie Y, et al. Prevalence of and factors associated with pterygium in adult Chinese: the Beijing Eye Study. Cornea 2007;26:1184–6.

Original Articles
Supporting Agencies
azasite, tobradex, blepharitis, dry eye, pinguecula, ocular surface disease.
  • Abstract views: 1087

  • PDF: 1796
How to Cite
Hua, L. V., Halvorson, A., Lonsberry, B., & Horn, F. (2011). Topical Azithromycin 1% in acute management of inflammatory pterygium. Optometry Reports, 1(1), e2.