Gatifloxacin (Ophthalmic)

Overview

Gatifloxacin is an eye drop that belongs to a group of medicines known as the fluoroquinolone, and it inhibits bacterial enzymes topoisomerase IV and DNA gyrase just like the rest of the members of the family. Their design enables them to decrease the opportunity for the microbial resistance to the antibiotic.

The quinolone will just work for the bacterial eye infections and not for the other types of eye infections. The patient should expect the symptoms to improve in the course of the treatment. If It's misused, it may lead to decreased effectiveness. But if the bacterial conjunctivitis is not treated, it may lead to loss of the eye.

Conditions Treated

  • Bacterial Conjunctivitis.
  • Otitis media
  • Bronchitis
  • Community-acquired pneumonia and
  • Cystitis

Type Of Medicine

  • Fluoroquinolones

Side Effects

Apart from the needed benefits of gatifloxacin, the medicine could cause unwanted effects too. Some of the common side effects include;

  • Puffy eyelids
  • Mild itching
  • Irritation
  • Redness
  • Watery eyes
  • Eye pain and
  • Burning

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to gatifloxacin are rare, but those that have been reported are;

  • Hives
  • Slow heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing or talking
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Weak pulse and
  • Swelling of the face, throat, lips, and tongue
  • Peeling of the skin (with or without having a fever)
  • Unusual hoarseness
  • Wheezing
  • Change in eyesight and
  • Terrible skin reaction (toxic epidermal necrolysis/Stevens-Johnson syndrome).

Some patients have reported cases of severe discomfort, eye swelling, crusting or even drainage, which are a sign of a new infection. The signs and symptoms of any new or worsening eye problems call for an emergency medical attention.

The purpose of this medicine is to alleviate the signs and symptoms of the condition previously mentioned. Therefore, most patients under this medication do not experience serious side effects. Also, you may or may not have to suffer some of the side effects discussed here.

The discussed side effects above may not be the complete list of the possible side effects that could affect the patients. If you are on gatifloxacin medication and you notice any other rare side effects that are not discussed above, contact your prescriber or doctor immediately for medical advice. You can also report the side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch if you're in the US.

Remember that the prolonged use of this medication or even repeated periods can cause a new fungal eye infection. Do not extend the use of this medicine longer than it has been prescribed to you by the doctor.

Dosage

Use gatifloxacin as prescribed by your doctor. Read and follow all the directions and information on the prescription label closely. Do not underdose or overdose the medicine for longer than it's recommended. You may be asked to use the eye drops in intervals of two hours for the first couple of days. After that, you may use at intervals of four hours until you are done with the medication. The bottom line is that you follow the doctor's instructions.

To gain the most benefits as the intention of the medication;

  • Never miss doses.
  • The medication is only for the eye.
  • Remember to wash hands before and after using the eye drops.
  • Avoid touching the tip of the eye dropper to your eye, lid or any other skin.(A contaminated dropper may affect your eye or even cause vision problems).
  • Use the number of drops as directed by your physician also if the signs get better, make sure you finish your doses.

For you to apply the eye drops correctly you may have to;

  • Slightly tilt your head back and pull down the lower eyelid to form a small pocket.
  • The dropper should be held above the eye with the tip facing down.
  • Look up and away from the dropper, squeeze it and drop drug into the eye.
  • After use, close your eyes for about one to two minutes with your head tipped down and avoided blinking or squinting. Put pressure on the inside corner of your eye with your fingers gently. It will ensure the liquid stays in the eye and away from your tear duct.

Interactions

It's not certain that the other drugs you take orally or inject will affect gatifloxacin used in your eyes. But gatifloxacin may interact with health problems or with other drugs since drugs can interact with each other. Do not use any other eye medications during treatment with gatifloxacin unless instructed by your doctor. Before taking the medication, tell your healthcare provider about your health problems and each medicine you are using currently; both prescribed and over-the-counter drugs. Do this to ensure that it's safe for you to use gatifloxacin along with your health problems or other drugs. Medicines that can interact with gatifloxacin are; Aluminium Hydroxide/Magnesium Hydroxide which interacts moderately and Digoxin which interacts severely.

Tell the physician if you're allergic to gatifloxacin or any of the following similar quinolone antibiotics;

  • Cinoxacin (Cinobac)
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro Ciloxan)
  • Enoxacin (Penetrex)
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin, Iquix, Quixin)
  • Lomefloxacin (Maxaquin)
  • Moxifloxacin (Avelox, Vigamox)
  • Norfloxacin or
  • Nalidixic acid (NegGram) and
  • Benzalkonium chloride.

Patients are also urged to tell their doctor about any nutritional supplements, vitamins, and the herbal products they are taking. Patients should be sure to mention anticoagulants ('blood thinners') like; theophylline (TheoDur), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) and warfarin (Coumadin). Your doctor may want to change your doses of the medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.

Warnings

Apart from telling your doctor about your medical conditions and allergies, open up about any health problems. It's not known if gatifloxacin can harm an unborn baby but make sure you tell your doctor if you plan to be pregnant or if you are pregnant. Supposing you get pregnant while on this medication, call your doctor to seek guidance.

It's also not known if gatifloxacin could harm your nursing baby if it passes into breast milk. Let your doctor know if you're breastfeeding a baby. Gatifloxacin ophthalmic has not been approved for use by children younger than one-year-old. Use with caution in the senior population as it may increase the risk of tendon and tendinitis rupture.

Supposing you feel better before you complete your dose, use the medication until you are done with the prescription. If you stop using the eye drops, your infection may not be cured entirely hence the bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics. You shouldn't wear your contact lenses while applying eye drops or when you're still having active symptoms of the eye infection.

Your symptoms are supposed to improve in the course of your treatment. Therefore, if the symptoms do not disappear or if they worsen, call your doctor. Seek medical attention if you happen to develop other problems with your eyes during the treatment.

Wash your hands before and after attending to your infection especially after touching your eyes, since the bacteria conjunctivitis spreads easily. After the symptoms go away, clean or replace your eye makeup, your contact lenses or any other objects that contacted your infected eye.

Attend all the appointments scheduled by your doctor. If you miss the appointment, call your doctor as soon as you can and reschedule the appointment. Remember to keep a list of all your drugs with you; prescription and OTC, natural products, and vitamins. Carry with you this list every time you are admitted, or you visit your physician. It's also relevant information to bring along in case of emergencies.

Do not share your medication since your medication is not refillable. Supposing your dose if finished and you still have symptoms of the infection, contact your doctor for advice.

Storage

Store gatifloxacin at room temperature away from heat and moisture as recommended by the manufacturers. Do not freeze the medication and keep it away from direct light or sunlight. Always keeps the medicine in the same container that it came in. The bottle should be tightly closed when not in use. Ideally, all your drugs should be safely locked with safety caps and in a medicine cabinet or cupboard, away from pets and children's reach to prevent poisoning.

Dispose of any unneeded medications in the right way to make sure that children, pets or other people don't consume them. To know the right direction, confirm with your pharmacist the right way to throw away the unused drugs. Medications that are not needed should not be flushed down the toilet or thrown into a garbage container. The other way is through a medicine take-back program. Check the FDA's Safe Disposal of garbage/recycling department to know about the take-back programs around in your community.

Summary

Gatifloxacin ophthalmic has the benefits of treating eye infections. It's a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that fights bacteria which causes the eye infection. Apart from the medication being beneficial, it could pose a risk to patients who may not use the medicine as directed by their doctor. To ensure you get positive results regarding your medication, trust your doctor with your health background.

Gatifloxacin can also be used for purposes not listed in the medication guide, but you can confirm this with your doctor. Talk to your prescriber about possible allergies or medication you are taking to avoid interactions with the other drugs since it's possible. There is no particular dietary instruction, but be sure to open up about drinking coffee or any other beverages that contain caffeine.

Always take your medication according to the dose prescribed by your physician. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching the infected eye. After the symptoms have gone away, dispose of off anything that had contact with bacteria conjunctivitis since it's transmitted easily.