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All about: Gentamicin Ointment

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Generic Name: Gentamicin Eye Ointment (jen-ta-MYE-sin)
Brand Name: Gentak

Gentamicin Ointment is used for:

Treating surface eye infections caused by certain bacteria.

Gentamicin Ointment is a topical antibiotic. It works by slowing the growth of, or killing, sensitive bacteria.

Do NOT use Gentamicin Ointment if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Gentamicin Ointment

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Gentamicin Ointment:

Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Gentamicin Ointment. Because little, if any, of Gentamicin Ointment is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.

Ask your health care provider if Gentamicin Ointment may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Gentamicin Ointment:

Use Gentamicin Ointment as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Gentamicin Ointment may be used around the eye or in the eye, as directed by your doctor. To use Gentamicin Ointment in the eye, first, wash your hands. Using your index finger, pull the lower eyelid away from your eye to form a pouch. Squeeze a thin strip of ointment into the pouch. After using Gentamicin Ointment, gently close your eyes for 1 to 2 minutes. Wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them. Wipe the applicator tip with a clean, dry tissue.
  • To prevent germs from contaminating your medicine, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface, including the eye. Keep the container tightly closed.
  • Do not wear contact lenses while you are using Gentamicin Ointment. Take care of your contact lenses as directed by the manufacturer. Check with your doctor before you use them.
  • Gentamicin Ointment is only for the eye. Do not get it in your nose or mouth.
  • To clear up your infection completely, use Gentamicin Ointment for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • Using Gentamicin Ointment at the same times each day will help you to remember to use it.
  • If you miss a dose of Gentamicin Ointment, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Gentamicin Ointment.

Important safety information:

  • Gentamicin Ointment may cause blurred vision. Use Gentamicin Ointment with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Gentamicin Ointment may cause harm if it is swallowed. If you may have taken it by mouth, contact your poison control center or emergency room right away.
  • Be sure to use Gentamicin Ointment for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of Gentamicin Ointment may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Do not use Gentamicin Ointment for future eye problems without checking with your doctor.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Gentamicin Ointment while you are pregnant. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Gentamicin Ointment, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Gentamicin Ointment:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Bloodshot eye; burning or stinging of the eye.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); delayed healing of the cornea; hallucinations; redness, itching or swelling of the eyelids; ulcers of the cornea.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Gentamicin Ointment:

Store Gentamicin Ointment at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, light, and moisture. Do not freeze. Keep Gentamicin Ointment out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Gentamicin Ointment, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Gentamicin Ointment is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Gentamicin Ointment. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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