Fluorometholone (ophthalmic)

Fluorometholone helps in relieving eye symptoms like redness, itching, and swelling caused by injuries or infections.

Overview

Fluorometholone is administered into the patient's eye with the dosage and frequency depending on the patient's condition and age. While Fluorometholone is an effective medication, it may sometimes cause adverse side effects like cataracts which may lead to the drug's discontinuation.

Just like the other corticosteroids, Fluorometholone needs careful usage since it might worsen the condition when used along with other drugs or when the wrong dosage is used. Prolonged use of the drug can suppress the patient's immune response and increase the risk of secondary ocular infections.

Conditions Treated

  • Cornea damage or dotted lesions
  • Ciliary body and iris inflammation
  • Eye uvea inflammation
  • Severe corneal inflammation
  • Cornea Herpes zoster infection
  • Cornea Scratch ulcer
  • Allergic conjunctivitis

Type Of Medicine

  • Corticosteroid

Side Effects

Just like any other medication, Fluorometholone ophthalmic sometimes causes unwanted effects. Not all of them occur, but if they do, immediate medical attention is needed. Some of the significant side effects that must be reported to the doctor are eye discharge, change in vision or blurred vision, enlarged and dilated pupils, itching, burning and dry eyes, reduced eye vision, increased light sensitivity of the eyes and tearing. Delayed wound healing and swollen eyelids should also be checked with the medical practitioner with an immediate effect.

Fluorometholone may sometimes cause side effects that do not need medical attention. Most of them go during the medication period since the body continues to adjust to the drug. Also, your doctor may inform you on some of the methods you can adopt to reduce or prevent the occurrence of these effects. However, you should check with your doctor if you start experiencing a stinging and burning sensation when applying the medicine, feeling like there is an object in the eye or when the upper eyelids begin to droop.

Some patients have reported having swollen faces, throat and tongue and difficulty breathing. It's advisable not to ignore such effects, especially if they become bothersome. The medication should be discontinued once you develop sudden eye irritations, signs of eye infections like crusting and draining, seeing halos when you are in a lightened place or feeling severe pains behind the eyes.

Fluorometholone eye drops may sometimes cause some severe expressions although their occurrence is sporadic. Few patients have reported weight gain, irregular menstrual period, increased body hair, sexual function changes, cataracts, increased pressure in the eyes, Central Serous Chorioretinopathy, perforated eyes, visual field defect, raised cornea spots and fluid accumulation in the cornea. Other worth mentioning rare side effects with fewer expressions are dizziness, hives, anxiety, feeling tired muscle weakness, pink eyes, taste problems and reduced eye sharpness.

Dosage

The dosage and intake frequency of Fluorometholone depends on:

  • Your age
  • How severe the condition is
  • The eye condition being treated
  • History of your medical condition
  • Your reaction after the first dose

How to use

Do not use this medicine unless the doctor has prescribed you. Also, it is advisable to avoid wearing contact lenses while using this medication. Sterilize the contact lenses thoroughly by the manufacturer's directions and check with your health provider before you use them again. If the doctor approves the usage of the contact lenses during the treatment period, remove them before you put in the eye drops. The contact lenses may absorb the preservative element of the medicine. After the dose, wait for at least 15 minutes or more before you wear the glasses again.

Before you apply the eye drops, wash your hands thoroughly with clean water and shake the bottle well. Avoid touching the dropper tip and also do not let your eye get in contact with any surface to avoid contamination.

Look upward, tilt your head towards the back and then pull the lower eyelid downwards to make the pouch. Gently close the eyes for two minutes, then place one of your fingers to the eyes corner (near the nose). This prevents the medicine from draining out. Do not rub the eye during that period to avoid the medicine drops from getting out. Repeat the same procedure for the eye if you have been directed by your doctor to do so.

Follow the doctor's frequency intake instructions. Avoid rinsing the dropper but instead, replace its cap each time you are done with using it.

In case you are on another type of eye medications (like ointments and other drops), wait for 5 to 10 minutes before you apply the other medicines. Put the eye drops first before the ointments to ensure that the drops are retained in the eye. You must use the drops for the prescribed period to fully benefit from it. For better remembrance, use it the same time daily.

Avoid using the drug for a more extended period other than the prescribed one as this may increase the side effects. However, don't stop before the instructed time before you consult the health provider. Some conditions worsen if the drug is discontinued suddenly.

Avoid using the medicine if it gets contaminated (for instance, if the drops become dark). Use of the contaminated drug can damage the eye, reduce the vision or cause severe eye infections.

Adult dosage (18 years and above)

The recommended dose is one drop in the eye.( inside the eyelids- conjunctiva sac) Administered 2 to 4 times per day. The drops dosage may be increased after 24 to 48 hours to be taken after every 4 hours.

Child dosage (2 to 17 years)

The recommended dose is one drop put carefully inside the eyelids. It is administered 2 to 4 times per day, but after 24 to 48 hours, the doctor may decide to increase the dose to one drop after every 4 hours.

Special dosage consideration

If you have used Fluorometholone ophthalmic for an extended period, the medication should not be stopped all of a sudden. Your doctor may instruct you to reduce its intake slowly to prevent the risk of flaring up the eye condition.

Warnings

Fluorometholone should not be used by patients who are allergic to steroid drugs. The doctor should be informed if the patient has:

    • Tuberculosis
    • Fungal eye infection
    • Viral eye infection like ocular herpes
    • Any untreated disease in your body like chicken pox

To ensure Fluorometholone ophthalmic works best for you; inform your health provider if you:

  • Have cataracts history
  • Glaucoma history or increased eye pressure

Tell your doctor if you are expectant or planning to have a baby. The safety of this medicine while breastfeeding is not well known hence informing the doctor that you are breastfeeding will help him/her to make a decision. The medication should not be administered to children less than 2 years.

After applying this medicine, your vision may become temporarily blurred. Avoid using machinery or driving since these activities need a clear vision, and you may not accomplish them safely.
If you notice a new eye infection is developing in your eyes while still on the medication, consult your doctor to know if the drug will be discontinued or not. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should inform your doctor for more details.

Prolonged usage of corticosteroids increases intraocular pressure, especially in the susceptible individuals. This results in posterior subcapsular cataracts and visual acuity defects. The prolonged use can also suppress the immune response of the patient increasing the risk of getting secondary ocular infections.

Long-term use of topical corticosteroids and ocular diseases are known to cause scleral and corneal thinning. Using these corticosteroids in a thin scleral and corneal tissue may bring eye perforation.

If Fluorometholone is used for more than 10 days, intraocular [pressure needs to be regularly monitored even though it's sometimes tricky for uncooperative patients and small children. Steroids need to be used carefully especially when the patient has glaucoma. Intraocular pressure should also be checked on regular basis. Using steroids after cataract surgery can increase the chances of bleb formation and delay the healing.

Ocular steroids exacerbate many eye viral infections severity and prolong their course (like herpes simplex). Extreme caution is therefore required while handling patients with herpes simplex history. A slit lamp microscopy is needed.

A physician should only make the initial prescription of Fluorometholone medication beyond 20ml after an eye examination with the help of magnification. If the symptoms do not improve after 3 days, the patient should be re-evaluated.

Interactions

Let the doctor know any other medicines that you are currently using especially the nasal, oral, and inhaled and injectables steroids. These oral steroid drugs interact with Fluorometholone:

  • Methylprednisolone (Medrol)
  • Prednisone (Orasone, Deltasone)
  • Hydrocortisone (Cortef, Hydrocortone)

It's important to be open to the doctor since many drugs interact once taken. Inform your healthcare provider if you are taking the over the counter drugs, vitamins or herbal medicines. Your pharmacist can change the medication use by close monitoring to manage or prevent interactions. Do not start taking a new medicine without informing your doctor. Some drugs should not be taken alongside some foods as give rise to some interactions. The use of tobacco or alcohol may also bring cause interactions. This calls for the need of seeking advice from your healthcare professional.

Storage

Various brands of Fluorometholone have unique storage needs. Follow the instructions on the product package on how to keep your brand safely. Do not freeze or keep it in the bathroom. A room temperature of 2°C -25°C (36°F -77°F) is recommended. When not in use, ensure that the bottle is kept in an upright position and is tightly closed. Keep it in a safe locked place away from the reach of small children and pets. Do not flush it down the toilet or pour it unless your physician has instructed you to do so.

Discard the no longer needed or expired medicine safely. Your doctor will tell you the best disposal method. Alternatively, you can consult your local disposal company on how you can discard it.

Summary

While Fluorometholone ophthalmic is an essential eye treatment medicine, it can sometimes pose a significant threat when misused or when the patients fail to communicate well with the doctor. As a treatment, it is designed to reduce the eye allergies and inflammations that occur after surgeries or infections.

For this medicine to work best for you, you must use it regularly as per the doctor's prescription. It should not be used for a more extended period to avoid increasing the side effects. However, if it becomes contaminated, contact your physician. This will help in keeping the eyes safe from contaminations and infections. Your doctor may periodically perform medical tests like eye exams to monitor the progress and check any side effects.

In case you skip a dose, and it's almost time for the other dose, skip it and resume with the regular schedule to avoid double dosage. You should inform your doctor if you have steroid medication allergy or any other infection like tuberculosis. Also, both pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should reveal their status so that the doctor can draw the right results for the prescription. Seek immediate medical help once the eye situation shows no improvement while still under medication.

Fluorometholone overdose is not perceived to be dangerous but if it happens, seek medical attention or contact poison help line at 1-800-222-1222.