tobramycin and dexamethasone

  • Medical 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 brand names are available for tobramycin and dexamethasone?

Tobradex, Tobradex ST

Is tobramycin and dexamethasone available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for tobramycin and dexamethasone?


What are the side effects of tobramycin and dexamethasone?

The most frequently reported side effects of Tobradex are: 

  • itching,
  • swelling of the eye lids, and
  • redness of the conjunctivae.

Other side effects include:

What is the dosage for tobramycin and dexamethasone?

The recommended dose is one or two drops (solution or ointment) or one drop (suspension) into the conjunctival sac every four to six hours. The dosing interval may be reduced to every two hours during the initial 24 to 48 hours. The hands should be washed before each use of Tobradex or any eye medication. The head is tilted back, and the lower eye lid is pulled down with the index finger to form a pouch. The tip of the dropper should not touch the eye or eyelid. The bottle of Tobradex should be squeezed slightly to allow the prescribed number of drops (generally one or two drops) into the pouch. If the ointment is being used, a small strip (about 1cm or 1/2 inch) of ointment should be squeezed into the pouch. The eye should then be closed gently for one to two minutes without blinking.

Is tobramycin and dexamethasone safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Although no human studies have assessed the effects of Tobradex on the fetus, animal studies have shown adverse fetal effects. Physicians should prescribe it to women who are pregnant only if its benefits are deemed to outweigh the potential risks.

It is not known if Tobradex is excreted into breast milk.

What else should I know about tobramycin and dexamethasone?

What preparations of tobramycin and dexamethasone are available?

  • Ophthalmic solution or ointment: 0.3% tobramycin and 0.1% dexamethasone.
  • Opthalmic Suspension: 0.3% tobramycin and 0.05% dexamethasone.

How should I keep tobramycin and dexamethasone stored?

Tobradex should be kept at room temperature, 15-30 C (59-86 F), and protected from direct light.


Tobramycin and dexamethasone (Tobradex, Tobradex ST) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of steroid responsive ocular inflammation that requires steroid treatment, and is caused by a bacterial infection, or if there is a risk of infection. Side effects, drug interactions, and dosage information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Prevention & Wellness

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Medically reviewed by Eni Williams; PharmD., Ph.D.


FDA Prescribing Information