Eye Infection

A controlled clinical trial of 51 patients with ocular trachoma infections investigated the effectiveness of berberine over 3 weeks with a 1 -year follow-up (Babbar et al 1982). Subjects who used the 0.2% berberine either by itself or combined with sulfacetamide demonstrated significant symptom improvement and tested negative for Chlamydia trachomatis, with no relapse after 1 year.

A later comparison controlled clinical study also evaluated the effectiveness of the topical treatment of berberine for trachoma in 32 microbiologically confirmed patients (Khosla et al 1992). A 0.2% berberine solution (2 drops in each eye, three times daily) was found to be more effective than sulfacetamide (20%) in reducing both the course of the trachoma and the serum antibody titres against C. trachomatis. Berberine eyedrops were compared to berberine plus neomycin ointment, sulfacetamide and placebo in a double-blind, controlled clinical trial in 96 primary school children (Mohan et al 1982). Patients in the berberine group were asked to use 2 drops (0.2% berberine) of the solution in each eye, three times daily and to additionally apply a berberine ointment (0.2%) at night for 3 months. Children treated with only the berberine had an 87% clinical response rate, compared to 58% in the berberine and neomycin group; however, only 50% tested negative in follow-up microbiological tests.

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