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Generally, sulfonamide drugs should not be used topically to prevent or to treat bacterial infections because of a high risk of sensitization,and potential irritation and other adverse reactions such as drug allergy, hypersensitivity etc. These experiments were designed to study the irritability and some other topical adverse effects of 10% sulfacetamide ophthalmic solution using rabbits (n = 8) as test animal. An approximate volume of 0.05 ml. (2 drops) of the sulfacetamide solution was instilled into conjunctival sacs of rabbit eyes every 2 hours, 3 times a day (9.00, 11.00 and 13.00 hr.) and 3 days a week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) for 6 weeks and compared to the effects of 0.9% sodium chloride solution for injection (n = 3).
In all tested animals (n = 8) and control (n = 3), the sulfacetamide and sodium chloride solutions did not cause corneal cloudiness or opacity. Both solutions did not cause swelling (edema), congestion or hemorrhage of iris, did not alter pupillary light reflex, neither produced superinfection nor allergic reactions. However, only the sulfacetamide solution produced mild and transient (15-30 min.) swelling and slight redness of nictitating membrane (grade I con junctivitis) in 2 rabbits in the second week of testing. It was concluded that 10% sulfacetamide eye drops produced negligible eye irritation in rabbits in this study.
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