Clinical Summary

Ocular Prophylaxis for Gonococcal Ophthalmia Neonatorum: Preventive Medication

January 29, 2019

Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Population Newborns
Recommendation Provide prophylactic ocular topical medication to prevent gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum.
Grade: A
Preventive Medication Erythromycin ophthalmic ointment is the only drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the prophylaxis of gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum. Ocular prophylaxis of newborns is mandated in most states and is considered standard neonatal care.
Relevant USPSTF Recommendations The USPSTF recommends screening for gonorrhea in all sexually active women 24 years and younger and in older women at increased risk for infection, as well as pregnant women.

For a summary of the evidence systematically reviewed in making this recommendation, the full recommendation statement, and supporting documents, please go to