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All about: Loteprednol Ophthalmic

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Alrex
  • Lotemax

Category

  • Corticosteroid, ophthalmic
  • anti-inflammatory, steroidal, ophthalmic

Description

Loteprednol (loe-te-PRED-nol) belongs to the group of medicines known as corticosteroids (cortisone-like medicines). It is used to treat inflammation (redness) of the eye, which may occur with certain eye problems or following eye surgery. This medicine is also used to temporarily treat the symptoms of the eye caused by a condition known as seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (seasonal eye allergy).

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form:

  • Ophthalmic
  • Eye drops (U.S.)

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 ophthalmic loteprednol, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to loteprednol, other cortisone-like medicines, or benzalkonium chloride. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Ophthalmic loteprednol has not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies in animals given loteprednol by mouth have shown that loteprednol in high doses causes birth defects or other unwanted effects in the animal fetus. 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 enough loteprednol is absorbed from the eye to get into breast milk. Discuss with your doctor whether or not to breast-feed while using this medicine.

Children—There is no specific information comparing use of ophthalmic loteprednol 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 ophthalmic loteprednol 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. Tell your health care professional if you are taking or using any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of ophthalmic loteprednol. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Certain eye diseases that cause the cornea to get thin—Use of ophthalmic loteprednol could cause a hole to form (perforation)
  • Fungus infection of the eye or
  • Herpes infection of the eye or
  • Virus infection of the eye or
  • Yeast infection of the eye or
  • Any other eye infection—Ophthalmic loteprednol may make existing infections worse or cause new infections
  • Glaucoma—Prolonged use of corticosteroids may result in glaucoma; caution should be used when corticosteroids are used in patients who have glaucoma

Proper Use of This Medicine

Shake the container very well before applying the eye drops.

If you are using the 0.5% strength of this medicine: Do not wear soft contact lenses while you are using this medicine .

If you are using the 0.2% strength of this medicine: If your eyes are red, you should not wear contact lenses . If your eyes are not red, soft contact lenses should be removed before you use this medicine. You should wait at least 10 minutes after using the eye drops before reinserting the contact lenses.

To use:

  • First, wash your hands. Tilt your head back and, pressing your finger gently on the skin just beneath the lower eyelid, pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to make a space. Drop the medicine into this space. Let go of the eyelid and gently close the eyes. Do not blink. Keep the eyes closed and apply pressure to the inner corner of the eye with your finger for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medicine to be absorbed by the eye.
  • 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.

Dosing—The dose of ophthalmic loteprednol will be different for different patients. The amount that you use depends on the strength of the eye drops, as well as what they are being used for. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of ophthalmic loteprednol. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For ophthalmic suspension dosage form (eye drops):
    • For seasonal allergic conjunctivitis:
      • Adults—Use one drop of the 0.2% eye suspension in the affected eye four times a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For inflammation after surgery:
      • Adults—Use one or two drops of the 0.5% eye suspension in the affected eye four times a day beginning twenty-four hours after surgery and continuing throughout the first two weeks after surgery.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For other eye problems as determined by your doctor:
      • Adults—Use one or two drops of the 0.5% eye suspension in the affected eye four times a day. During the first week your doctor may want you to use the eye drops more often.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, use it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Do not freeze.
  • 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

If you will be using this medicine for more than few weeks, an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) should examine your eyes at regular visits to make sure it does not cause unwanted effects.

If your symptoms do not improve or if your condition becomes worse, check with your doctor .

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:

More common

Blurred vision or other change in vision; redness or swelling of the eye; swelling of the membrane covering the white part of the eye

Less common

Discharge from the eye; eye discomfort, irritation, or pain; increased sensitivity of eye to light; redness of eyelid or inner lining of eyelid; tiny bumps on the inner lining of eyelid

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 any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More common

Burning when medicine is applied; dry eye; feeling of something in the eye; headache; itching; runny nose; sore throat; tearing or watery eye

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

Developed: 08/14/1998

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