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

  • 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.

What is the dosage for steroid and antibiotic eye drops?

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.)

Which drugs or supplements interact with steroid and antibiotic eye drops?

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.

Is steroid and antibiotic eye drops safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

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

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

What else should I know about steroid and antibiotic eye drops?

What preparations of steroid and antibiotic eye drops are available?

Steroid and antibiotic combination eye products are available as ointments or suspensions.

How should I keep steroid and antibiotic eye drops stored?

They are usually stored at room temperature.

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Summary

Steroid and antibiotic eye drops - hydrocortisone/neomycin/polymixin B; loteprednol/tobramycin; prednisolone/gentamycin; prednisolone/sulfacetamide; hydrocortisone /neomycin/bacitracin/ polymyxin B (Blephamide, Catapred [discontinued], Isopto, Pred-G, Poly-Pred [discontinued], Tobradex, Zylet and many other brands) are steroid and antibiotic eye drops prescribed to prevent or treat eye infections that are associated with inflammation. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to using these medications.

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