What is tobramycin-ophthalmic ointment, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Tobramycin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic that interferes with bacterial production of proteins, ultimately leading to bacterial death. Tobramycin, like other aminoglycoside antibiotics, targets various gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Targeted organisms include Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter aerogenes, Proteus mirabilis, Morganella morganii, Proteus vulgaris (most strains), Haemophilus influenzae, Haemophilus aegyptius, Moraxella lacunata, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, and some Neisseria species. The FDA approved tobramycin ophthalmic solution in December 1980.

What brand names are available for tobramycin-ophthalmic ointment?

Tobrex

Is tobramycin-ophthalmic ointment available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for tobramycin-ophthalmic ointment?

Yes

What are the side effects of tobramycin-ophthalmic ointment?

Side effects are rare. Less than 1% report sensitivity reactions including swelling and itching of the eyelid, and reddening of the eye (conjunctiva).

What is the dosage for tobramycin-ophthalmic ointment?

The initial dose for adults and children two months old or greater is 1 to 2 drops every 2 to 4 hours in the infected eye. For severe infections, up to 2 drops every hour may be used until improvement is seen, at which time the dose should be reduced.

Which drugs or supplements interact with tobramycin-ophthalmic ointment?

There are no known drug interactions with tobramycin ophthalmic solution.

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Is tobramycin-ophthalmic ointment safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

There is no evidence of harm to the fetus in animal studies with systemic tobramycin use; no direct studies in humans have been conducted. Blood levels are undetectable after ophthalmic tobramycin use.

Tobramycin ophthalmic solution is not absorbed into the body at detectable levels, and therefore not expected to be present in the breast milk. However, breast feeding is not recommended due to the potential for adverse effects in the infant.

What else should I know about tobramycin-ophthalmic ointment?

What preparations of tobramycin-ophthalmic ointment are available?

Ophthalmic Solution 0.3%

How should I keep tobramycin-ophthalmic ointment stored?

Tobramycin ophthalmic solution should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F). Some preparations may be refrigerated and stored between 2 C to 8 C (36 F to 46 F).

Summary

Tobramycin ophthalmic solution (Tobrex) is an antibiotic eyedrop prescribed for a variety of bacterial infections of the eye. Side effects, dosage, drug interactions, pregnancy safety, and patient safety should be reviewed prior to using this medication.

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References
Medically reviewed by John Cunha, DO

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information
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