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

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: Steroid and antibiotic eye drops

Hydrocortisone/neomycin/polymixin B; loteprednol/tobramycin; prednisolone/gentamycin; prednisolone/sulfacetamide; hydrocortisone /neomycin/bacitracin/ polymyxin B

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

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: These eye drops 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.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes for some

PREPARATIONS: Steroid and antibiotic combination eye drops are available as ointments or suspensions.

STORAGE: They are usually stored at room temperature.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Steroid and antibiotic eye drops generally are used for preventing or treating eye infections and associated inflammation.

DOSING: Doses range between 1 to 3 drops of the suspension instilled into the eye every 1 to 6 hours. The dose for an ointment is 1/2 inch 3 to 4 times daily. (Patients should see the instructions for each agent for more detailed information about how to use these agents.)

DRUG INTERACTIONS: These drugs work locally in the eye and very little drug is absorbed into the blood stream. There is a low chance of drug interactions with these agents.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of use these drugs during pregnancy.

NURSING MOTHERS: Steroids are secreted in breast-milk when taken as pills or injections. These steroid-containing eye drops have not been adequately studies in women who are breastfeeding.

SIDE EFFECTS: 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.

REFERENCES: FDA Prescribing Information for Blephamide, Catapred, Isopto, Pred-G, Poly-Pred, Tobradex, Zylet


Last Editorial Review: 2/19/2014




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