Steroid and antibiotic eye drops (Blephamide, Isopto, Pred-G, Tobradex, Zylet)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is steroid and antibiotic eye drops, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

These eye drops and ointments contain a combination of a steroid and one or more types of antibiotic for treatment of infection and inflammation of the eye. The steroid reduces inflammation while the antibiotic treats or prevents infection which may be the cause of the infection. Examples of steroids that are used in these eye drops are hydrocortisone, loteprednol, prednisolone, and dexamethasone. Examples of antibiotics used in these formulations include tobramycin, neomycin, bacitracin, polymixin B, and gentamycin. These antibiotics have different mechanisms of action and two or three may be combined in one formulation.

What brand names are available for steroid and antibiotic eye drops?

Blephamide, Catapred, Isopto, Pred-G, Poly-Pred, Tobradex, Zylet and many other brands

Is steroid and antibiotic eye drops available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes for some

Do I need a prescription for steroid and antibiotic eye drops?

Yes

What are the side effects of steroid and antibiotic eye drops?

The most common side effects associated with these agents are:

  • irritation,
  • itching,
  • swelling, and
  • redness of the eye.

Allergic reactions and delayed wound healing may occur. Some agents may increase pressure in the eye and worsen glaucoma. Cataract formation and optic nerve damage also may occur.

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