PURPOSE: The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of azithromycin ophthalmic solution 1% in patients with contact lens-related dry eye (CLDE). METHODS: This was a 4-week, single-center, open-label clinical trial in patients diagnosed with CLDE using the Contact Lens Dry Eye Questionnaire (CLDEQ). Fifty patients were enrolled in this study. The patients were randomized to 1 of 2 treatment groups: azithromycin ophthalmic solution administered bid on days 1 and 2 and on days 3 to 29±1 or Visine for Contacts rewetting drops administered qid on days 1 to 29±1. The patient diaries were used daily to collect data on comfortable and total contact lens wear time and ocular dryness throughout the treatment period. Tear osmolarity, fluorescein corneal staining, and visual acuity were also assessed during clinic visits. RESULTS: Fifty patients were enrolled, and 44 completed the study. One patient discontinued in the azithromycin group, and five patients discontinued in the rewetting drops group because of adverse events. A statistically significant increase in mean comfortable contact lens wear time from baseline was observed for the subjects treated with azithromycin ophthalmic solution as compared with the subjects treated with rewetting drops at week 4 (P=0.004; primary endpoint), in addition to weeks 2 and 3. The improvement in the mean comfortable wear time for the patients in the azithromycin treatment group exceeded 2 hrs throughout the treatment period (weeks 1-4). No significant differences were observed between the groups for total wear time, low contrast visual acuity, or tear osmolarity. Subject-rated ocular dryness (PM time assessments) was significantly improved from baseline in the subjects treated with azithromycin ophthalmic solution as compared with those treated with rewetting drops at weeks 2 and 3 endpoints (P=0.015 for each week). Additionally, a statistical difference was observed in favor of the azithromycin treatment group at week 2 for the subjects reclassifying as nondry eye as determined by the CLDEQ (P=0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with topical azithromycin ophthalmic solution was well tolerated and resulted in a significant improvement in comfortable contact lens wear time in the patients with CLDE. © 2012 Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.