Tobradex

tobramycin - dexamethasone

By Alcon Laboratories

What is this medication for?

This combination product contains two medications: tobramycin and dexamethasone. It is used to treat certain inflammatory eye conditions, where bacterial eye infection or a risk of bacterial eye infection exists.

Tobramycin belongs to the class of medications called aminoglycoside antibiotics. It works by killing certain types of bacteria that may cause eye infections.

Dexamethasone belongs to the class of medications called corticosteroids. It helps to reduce eye irritation, redness, and inflammation.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Tobradex® is available as:

  • eye drops
    • tobramycin 3 mg per mL and dexamethasone 1 mg per mL
  • eye ointment
    • tobramycin 3 mg per g and dexamethasone 1 mg per g
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.

How should I use this medication?

Drops: The usual adult dose is 1 to 2 drops instilled into the eye every 4 to 6 hours. In the first 24 to 48 hours of treatment, the dose be may increased to 1 or 2 drops every 2 hours as prescribed by the doctor. Your doctor will advise to reduce the dose gradually based on improvement in your condition.

Ointment: The usual adult dose is a 1.25 cm (½ inch) ribbon applied into the eye (along the edge of the lower eyelid) up to 3 or 4 times daily, or used in addition to the drops at bedtime.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

To use the eye drops:

  1. Wash your hands before using the eye drops.
  2. Shake the bottle well.
  3. Remove the cap and place it in a clean location. To avoid possible contamination, keep the tip of the container away from contact with any surface.
  4. Tilt the head back and look towards the ceiling.
  5. With your index finger, gently pull the lower eyelid down and away from the eye to form a pouch.
  6. Apply one drop into the pouch but do not allow the tip of the container to touch the eye or areas around the eye.
  7. Gently apply pressure to the inner corner of the eye (at the bridge of the nose) for about 30 seconds. (This is called nasolacrimal occlusion.) This prevents the medication from dripping down through the tear duct and entering the bloodstream, which could cause some side effects.
  8. Repeat with the other eye, if prescribed by your physician.
  9. Wash your hands again to remove any medication.

If you use other eye drops as well, wait at least 5 minutes before using them.

To use the eye ointment:

  1. Wash your hands before using the eye ointment.
  2. Remove the cap and place it in a clean location. To avoid possible contamination, keep the tip of the container away from contact with any surface.
  3. Tilt the head back and look towards the ceiling.
  4. With your index finger, gently pull the lower eyelid down and away from the eye to form a pouch.
  5. Apply a thin ribbon of ointment into the pouch but do not allow the tip of the tube to touch the eye or areas around the eye.
  6. Look downward before closing your eye.
  7. Repeat with the other eye, if prescribed by your physician.
  8. Wash your hands again to remove any medication.

It is very important to avoid touching the tip of the ointment tube or the dropper bottle to any surface, skin, or your eye. This contamination can result in a bacterial infection. Report any signs of an eye infection (e.g., redness, irritation, pain) to your doctor immediately.

If you wear contact lenses, do not wear them while using this medication.

It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, instill it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not instill a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use this medication if you:

  • are allergic to tobramycin, dexamethasone, or any of the ingredients of the medication
  • have a fungal infection of the eye
  • have an eye infection caused by mycobacteria
  • have vaccinia, varicella, herpes simplex keratitis, or other viral diseases of the eye
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The contents of this health site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.

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