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All about: Idoxuridine Ophthalmic

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Herplex Liquifilm
  • Stoxil

In Canada—

  • Herplex Liquifilm
  • Stoxil

Category

  • Antiviral, ophthalmic

Description

Idoxuridine (eye-dox-YOOR-i-deen) belongs to the family of medicines called antivirals. Idoxuridine is used to treat virus infections of the eye.

Idoxuridine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Ophthalmic
  • Ophthalmic ointment (U.S. and Canada)
  • Ophthalmic solution (eye drops) (U.S. and Canada)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For idoxuridine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to idoxuridine or to iodine or iodine-containing preparations. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives.

Pregnancy—Idoxuridine ophthalmic preparations have not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in humans. However, studies in animals have shown that idoxuridine causes protruding eyes (eyes that stick out too far) and deformed front legs in rabbits. Before using this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding—It is not known whether idoxuridine passes into the breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are using this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children—Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of this medicine in children with use in other age groups.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of idoxuridine in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are using idoxuridine, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are using the following:

  • Eye product containing boric acid—Boric acid may interact with the idoxuridine preparation causing a gritty substance to form or may interact with the preservative in the idoxuridine preparation causing a toxic effect in the eye

Proper Use of This Medicine

For patients using the eye drop form of idoxuridine:

  • The bottle is only partially full to provide proper drop control.
  • To use:
    • First, wash your hands. Then tilt the head back and pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to form a pouch. Drop the medicine into the pouch and gently close the eyes. Do not blink. Keep the eyes closed for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medicine to come into contact with the infection.
    • If you think you did not get the drop of medicine into your eye properly, use another drop.
    • To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface (including the eye). Also, keep the container tightly closed.

For patients using the eye ointment form of idoxuridine:

  • To use:
    • First, wash your hands. Then pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to form a pouch. Squeeze a thin strip of ointment into the pouch. A 1-cm (approximately 1/3-inch) strip of ointment is usually enough unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Gently close the eyes and keep them closed for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medicine to come into contact with the infection.
    • To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface (including the eye). After using idoxuridine eye ointment, wipe the tip of the ointment tube with a clean tissue and keep the tube tightly closed.

Do not use this medicine more often or for a longer time than your doctor ordered . To do so may cause problems in the eyes. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

To help clear up your infection completely, keep using this medicine for the full time of treatment , even though your symptoms may have disappeared. Do not miss any doses .

Dosing—The dose of idoxuridine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of idoxuridine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The number of doses you use each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you use the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using idoxuridine .

  • For virus infections of the eye:
    • For eye ointment dosage form:
      • Adults and children—Use every four hours during the day (five times a day).
    • For eye solution (eye drops) dosage form:
      • Adults and children—Use every hour during the day and every two hours during the night. After the eye condition gets better, use every two hours during the day and every four hours during the night.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store in the refrigerator or in a cool place because heat will cause this medicine to break down. However, keep the medicine from freezing. Follow the directions on the label.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits.

If your symptoms do not improve within a week, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This medicine may cause your eyes to become more sensitive to light than they are normally. Wearing sunglasses and avoiding too much exposure to bright light may help lessen the discomfort.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

Increased sensitivity of eyes to light; itching, redness, swelling, pain, or other sign of irritation not present before use of this medicine

Rare

Blurring, dimming, or haziness of vision

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if the following side effect continues or is bothersome:

Less common

Excess flow of tears

After application, eye ointments usually cause your vision to blur for a few minutes.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Revised: 06/21/1993

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