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A drug which inhibits or suppresses most inflammatory responses of an allergic, bacterial, traumatic or anaphylactic origin, as well as being immunosuppressant. They include the corticosteroids (e.g. betamethasone, dexamethasone, fluorometholone, hydrocortisone acetate, loteprednol etabonate, prednisolone, rimexolone, triamcinolone). They are sometimes combined with an antibiotic drug (e.g. betamethasone combined with neomycin or sulfacetamide, dexamethasone combined with neomycin or polymyxin B). Corticosteroids have side effects, such as enhancing the activity of herpes simplex virus, fungal overgrowth, raising intraocular pressure or cataract formation.There are other antiinflammatory drugs that are non-steroidal (NSAID) and have little toxicity. They act mainly by blocking prostaglandin synthesis. These include diclofenac sodium, flurbiprofen sodium, indomethacin, ketorolac, nepafenac and oxyphenbutazone. See immunosuppressants; steroid.
Millodot: Dictionary of Optometry and Visual Science, 7th edition. © 2009 Butterworth-Heinemann