Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not, “Is povidone-iodine safe and effective in the treatment of children and adults with viral conjunctivitis?” STUDY DESIGN: Review of three English language primary studies, published between 2002 and 2015. DATA SOURCES: Two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and one non-randomized, prospective, interventional pilot study were found using PubMed and the Cochrane database. OUTCOMES MEASURED: Each study evaluated the efficacy of povidone-iodine for the treatment of viral conjunctivitis measured by days until cured as determined by patient rating of symptom strength and ophthalmological grading of ocular signs. Drug tolerability was defined as the proportion of participants sustaining povidone-iodine application until 7 days or recovery. RESULTS: Tunay, Ozdemir & Petricili (2015) found that a one-time irrigation with povidoneiodine 2.5% and Netilmisin drops resulted in a significant reduction in symptom severity (p<0.05) and decreased time to recovery (p=0.001) as compared to instillation of Netilmisin alone. Isenberg et al. (2002) found no significant difference (p =.133-.824) in the overall number of days until cured or proportion cured at week 1 between subjects receiving neomycinpolymyxin- B-gramicidin and povidone-iodine 1.25% ophthalmic solutions 4 times daily. Trinavarat and Atchaneeyasakul (2012) found the recovery rate within a week of treatment with povidone-iodine 2% 4 times daily to be 77% (95%CI=65.1%-85.8%). No severe adverse effects were found to be associated with povidone-iodine treatment in any of the three studies. CONCLUSION: Results of all 3 studies demonstrated that povidone-iodine is safe in the treatment of adenoviral conjunctivitis in infants, children, and adults. Results also indicated that povidone-iodine may be an effective treatment for viral conjunctivitis by reducing the symptom severity and illness duration. Further comparative studies are needed in order to prove the efficacy of povidone-iodine in viral conjunctivitis treatment.