Antibiotics, Ophthalmic

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Antibiotics, Ophthalmic

 

Definition

Ophthalmic antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria that cause eye infections.

Purpose

Ophthalmic antibiotics are applied to the eye, or under the eyelid, to treat eye infections caused by bacteria.

Description

The medicine described here, tobramycin (Tobrex), comes in the form of eye drops or ointment. It is available only with a physician's prescription.

Recommended dosage

The dosages given here are typical doses. Physicians may adjust the number of doses per day, the time between doses, and the length of treatment with the medicine, depending on the patient's particular medical problem. If the physician's directions are different from those given here, follow the physician's directions.

Adults

EYE DROPS. For mild to moderate infections, use one to two drops in the affected eye or eyes every four hours.
For severe infections, use two drops in the affected eye or eyes every two hours until the condition improves. At that time, the physician will determine how much to use until the infection is completely cleared up.
OINTMENT. For mild to moderate infections, squeeze a half-inch ribbon of ointment into the affected eye or eyes two or three times a day. Do not let the tip of the ointment tube touch the eye.
For severe infections, squeeze a half-inch ribbon of ointment into the affected eye or eyes every three to four hours until the condition improves. At that time, the physician will determine how much to use until the infection is completely cleared up.

Children

The child's physician should determine the proper dose.

Precautions

Use this drug as often as directed, for as long as directed. Although the symptoms may have disappeared, the infection may not clear up completely if the drug is stopped too soon. Therefore, the medication may be prescribed for several days after the infection appears to have cleared. However, it is just as important to use the drug for only as long as directed. Using it for too long may lead to the growth of bacteria that do not respond to the drug. These bacteria may then cause infections that can be very difficult to treat. Make sure the physician or pharmacist specifies how long the medication is to be used.
Anyone who has had an allergic reaction to tobramycin or any other ingredients of Tobrex should not use this medicine. Be sure to tell the physician about any past reactions to the drug or its ingredients.
Anyone who has an allergic reaction to tobramycin should stop using it immediately and call a physician.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or who plan to become pregnant should check with their physicians before using tobramycin.

Side effects

The main side effects of this medicine are itching, redness, and swelling of the eye or eyelid. Allergic reactions also are possible. If any of these symptoms occur, call the physician who prescribed the medicine.

Interactions

Patients who are using any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines in their eyes should check with their physicians before using tobramycin.

Key terms

Bacteria — Tiny, one-celled forms of life that cause many diseases and infections.
Ointment — A thick, spreadable substance that contains medicine and is meant to be used on the skin, or, if it is specifically an ophthalmic, or "eye" ointment, in the eye
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References in periodicals archive ?
Ophthalmic antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance: A randomized, controlled study of patients undergoing intravitreal injections.
Topical ophthalmic antibiotics, parenteral antibiotics and a diet having Vitamin-A have been recommended for the management of swollen eye syndrome in chelonians (Millichamp, 1983).
Although most topical ophthalmic antibiotics used for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis are generally safe and well tolerated, ocular adverse events can cause discomfort that leads to noncompliance.