Vigamox vs Polymyxin – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Differences


It is the brand name of a drug called moxifloxacin that belongs to the class of drugs known as fluoroquinolones. It is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections of the eyes.

This drug works by binding to DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV, vital bacterial enzymes involved in the replication, repair, translation, and recombination of deoxyribonucleic acid.

This drug was first approved for use in the United States by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1999.


It is usually prescribed for an eye infection known as conjunctivitis (also referred as pink eye). It is actually an inflammation of the conjunctiva – the transparent membrane which covers the inner surface of the eyelids and the white part of the eye.

Conjunctivitis typically does not affect vision, and it will clear in most patients without medical care, however, bacterial conjunctivitis requires medical treatment with antibiotic ointment or eye drops.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis may include the following:

  • swelling, due to rubbing or inflammation;
  • soreness, like sand in the eye;
  • a crusty coating on the eyelashes, particularly on waking after a long sleep;
  • a shiny eye, as the tear glands become overactive;
  • redness, because of irritation of the blood vessels in the conjunctiva.

Note – this drug is for use in treating only bacterial conjunctivitis and it will not treat a fungal or viral infection of the eye.


This medication comes in the form of eye drops. Apply one drop to the affected eyes three times per day for one week.

To avoid contamination, it is suggested not to let the dropper tip touch any surface. If you wear contact lenses, it is recommended to remove them before using this medication and wait at least 15 minutes before using any other eye drops your healthcare professional has prescribed.

Stopping this eye drop too soon may lead to a relapse of the infection. Therefore, for optimal results, it is recommended to use this medication exactly as ordered by your doctor.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Moxifloxacin

Common side effects may include:

  • watery eyes;
  • blurred vision;
  • redness of the eye;
  • burning and stinging of the eye.

Rare side effects may include:

  • sensitivity to light;
  • eye pain;
  • abdominal cramps;
  • swelling of the cornea;
  • eye discharge;
  • nausea;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • spots on the cornea.

Some people may experience an allergic reaction, with symptoms including – itching/swelling (particularly of the tongue/face/throat), rash, trouble breathing, and dizziness.


It is an effective antibiotic medicine used to treat infections of the eye, urinary tract, skin, ear, layers covering the brain, and bloodstream.

Polymyxin B and trimethoprim ophthalmic is a combination drug used to treat eye infections caused by pathogenic bacteria. It is highly active against many Gram-negative bacteria, like – Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

It can be found under the brand name – Polytrim.


It is typically used to treat certain types of eye infections, like – blepharitis (irritation along the eyelid) and conjunctivitis (better known as pink eye).

Note – this antibiotic will not work for other types of eye infections because it only treats bacterial eye infections.


The dose of this drug will be different for different sufferers. Follow the directions on the label or your healthcare professional’s orders.

In mild to moderate bacterial infections, use one drop in the affected eye every 3 hours for a period of 7 to 10 days. The maximum dose is 6 applications a day.

Note – it contains a preservative that can discolor soft contact lenses, therefore, it is recommended not to use this antibiotic while wearing contact lenses. After use, to better help keep the drug in the eyes, keep your eyes closed and put soft pressure on the inside corner of the eye for two minutes.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Polytrim

Common side effects may include:

  • mild skin rash around the eyes;
  • watery eyes;
  • blurred vision;
  • redness of your eyelids;
  • mild burning, stinging, or itching of the eyes.

Rare side effects may include:

  • vomiting;
  • mental confusion;
  • oozing of the eyelids or eyes;
  • tingling sensation in hands and feet;
  • nausea;
  • increased sensitivity to light;
  • persistent diarrhea;
  • visual disturbances;
  • redness of your eyelids;
  • allergic skin reaction;
  • a weakness of hands, arms, legs or feet;
  • stomach cramps and discomfort.

Because this antibiotic may interfere with folate (also known as vitamin B9) metabolism, it should not be used during pregnancy or by women who plan to get pregnant.

Vigamox vs Polymyxin – Differences

Vigamox (active ingredient – moxifloxacin) is an antibiotic eye drop that is used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis in people 12 months and older. It works by preventing the bacteria from repairing and reproducing themselves.

Polymyxin B and trimethoprim ophthalmic treat certain eye infections caused by harmful bacteria. Because this potent antibiotic reacts with the membranes of human cells, it can cause neurotoxicity (damage to the brain or peripheral nervous system) and kidney damage. Hence, it is typically used only as a last resort if other antibiotics are contraindicated or ineffective.

In addition, according to some studies, moxifloxacin is considerably more efficacious in bacterial eye infections than polymyxin/trimethoprim, plus, it is cheaper.

Natural Remedies for Conjunctivitis

#1 Boric Acid

Boric acid, also referred to as hydrogen borate, is a naturally occurring compound containing the elements oxygen, boron, and hydrogen. It is effective for many eye problems, such as – dryness, redness, a burning sensation, and tearing because of its mild antifungal and antibacterial effects.

#2 Chamomile

Chamomile, a member of the Asteraceae family, is a medicinal herb that people have used for centuries. It can be used to treat conjunctivitis due to its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and natural antiseptic compounds.

#3 Black Tea

It is an excellent natural remedy for conjunctivitis due to the high content of tannins which offer relief from itching and inflammation as well as it contains bioflavonoids that have anti-viral and anti-bacterial attributes.

#4 Aloe

To soothe pain and reduce redness, you can rub a small amount from the inside of an aloe vera leaf on the inside of the upper and lower lids.

#5 Potatoes

They are natural astringents, hence, they can help to clean out the eyes. To use potatoes for eye infections, you can cut them into circles and place them on the eyes.

Image credit – Shutterstock & Getty

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