Gentamicin (Ophthalmic)

Overview

Gentamicin describes a class of antibiotics, which are used to treat a number of bacterial infections, such as bone infections, meningitis, sepsis, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia, among others. The ophthalmic route of Gentamicin is used to treat bacterial infections of the eye. Ophthalmic Gentamicin usually comes in both a solution and an ointment.

Ophthalmic Gentamicin is found most commonly sold under the brand names Garamycin, Genoptic, Genoptic SOP, Gentacidin, Gentafair, Gentak, Gentasol, and Ocu-Mycin. It is widely used and researched in the U.S., and can be obtained through a prescription from your doctor, or in some cases, over the counter from a pharmacy.

Conditions Treated

  • Bacterial infections

Type Of Medicine

  • Antibiotic

Side Effects

Ophthalmic Gentamicin has been found to cause some side effects. There are side effects of taking Ophthalmic Gentamicin that are more serious and need to be brought to the attention of a doctor, while there are other side effects that are not as serious. Although uncomfortable, these may not need to be brought to the attention of a doctor.

Less common side effects that should be brought to the attention of a doctor immediately include:

  • Itching, swelling, or general irritation (which are different from symptoms experienced before the medicine was used)

Rare side effects that should be brought to the attention of a doctor immediately include:

  • Black, tarry stools

There are also side effects that may occur when taking Ophthalmic Gentamicin, which are not serious and do not need to be brought to the attention of a doctor. These side effects include burning/stinging and blurry vision immediately after taking Ophthalmic Gentamicin. If blurry vision or burning and stinging continue longer though, tell a doctor immediately.

If you experience any other side effects that are not on these lists, you should let your doctor know immediately. There is no way to predict exactly how someone may react to a new medicine, and other side effects may be a sign that you should not be taking Ophthalmic Gentamicin or are taking it improperly.

Dosage

Ophthalmic Gentamicin generally comes in an ointment and a drop form. Always be careful to not let the dropper or tube applicator touch anything, as this could cause it to become contaminated and infect or bother your eye further. Follow the dosage directions from your doctor. Different infections and response to the medication will likely lead to different prescriptions of frequency.

Always be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before using Ophthalmic Gentamicin. If using Ophthalmic Gentamicin ointment, first hold the tube of ointment in your hand for a minute to help the ointment heat up and more easily squeeze out. Then, tilt your head back and slowly squeeze the ointment along your lower eyelid. Close your eye and roll your eye ball around for a few minutes. Wipe away any excess ointment carefully, so as to not irritate the eye further. If you need to use another eye medication, allow at least ten minutes after using the ointment before doing so. Wash your hands before and after application.

If using Ophthalmic Gentamicin eye drops, first be sure to shake the bottle thoroughly to mix up the solution. Make sure you have thoroughly washed your hands before opening the bottle or applying the drops. Tilt your head back and pull your lower eyelid fully open. Look away from the dropper, and squeeze one drop directly onto your eye. Then close your eye and hold your inner eye corner, near your nose, to avoid the drop slipping out and down from the eye. If you need to apply more drops or drops to the other eye, allow five minutes between drops.

Interactions

Ophthalmic Gentamicin does have some drug interactions, which is why you should tell your doctor about all medications you are currently taking or begin taking while using Ophthalmic Gentamicin.

Use of Ophthalmic Gentamicin is not recommended with the use of Ataluren. If you are taking Ataluren, your doctor may recommend another medication or decide how to proceed while you use Ataluren.

Ophthalmic Gentamicin is not recommended, but sometimes necessary, with the use of other medications. If your doctor decides that you should take Ophthalmic Gentamicin while using another of the listed medications, he or she may recommend changing the dose and/or dosage frequency of one or more of the medications you are taking.

  • Replagal
  • Alloferin
  • Atracurium Besilate
  • Cholera Vaccine
  • Vistide
  • Nimbex
  • Colistimethate Sodium
  • Syncurine
  • Lanoxin
  • Doxacurium Chloride
  • Edecrin
  • Fazadinium Bromide
  • Foscavir
  • Lasix
  • Gallamine Triethiodide
  • Hexafluorenium (muscle relaxant)
  • Lysine Amino Acid
  • Metocurine (muscle relaxant)
  • Mivacurium Chloride
  • Pavulon
  • Arduan
  • Raplon
  • Zemuron
  • Esmeron
  • Succinylcholine Chloride
  • Tubocurarine
  • Vancomycin
  • Norcuron

Ophthalmic Gentamicin may mildly react with other medications. Like those listed above, use of Ophthalmic Gentamicin with the below medications may mean that your doctor prescribes a different or differently timed dosage of one or both of the medications. Taking the following medications with Ophthalmic Gentamicin may also increase your risk of certain side effects. Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects when taking Ophthalmic Gentamicin with any of the following, though he or she may still recommend continued use of Ophthalmic Gentamicin.

  • Indomethacin

Ophthalmic Gentamicin may also interact within certain foods. Tell your doctor about your dietary habits and lifestyle before taking Ophthalmic Gentamicin. You should avoid consuming alcohol or tobacco when taking Ophthalmic Gentamicin.

Warnings

Ophthalmic Gentamicin should be used only to treat conditions prescribed by your doctor. Ophthalmic Gentamicin is used to treat bacterial infections, and will not be effective (or even potentially harmful) in treating fungal infections.

If you notice anything unusual about the ointment or eye drops, such as discoloration or particles in the solution, do not use it and tell your doctor or local pharmacist.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any food, medicine, dye, or other allergies before taking Ophthalmic Gentamicin. If you are taking Ophthalmic Gentamicin over the counter, be sure to read the listed ingredients before taking to ensure that you are not allergic to anything used to make Ophthalmic Gentamicin.

Ophthalmic Gentamicin has been determined by the FDA to be sometimes safe to take while pregnant. In tests with animals, Ophthalmic Gentamicin was found to have negligible to minimal effects on babies whose mothers used Ophthalmic Gentamicin when pregnant. However, it is not advisable to take Ophthalmic Gentamicin when pregnant unless your doctor determines that the risks are worth the benefits.

Ophthalmic Gentamicin has also been found to be very minimally absorbed by breast milk. Most babies should not experience any effects from their mothers' breastfeeding while taking Ophthalmic Gentamicin. Again, this is something that should still be discussed with a doctor.

The pediatric and geriatric use of Ophthalmic Gentamicin is not widely tested. Always speak to your doctor before using this medicine or before giving it to a child, to ensure that it is the best choice in treatment.

Ophthalmic Gentamicin may cause side effects at different times after taking it, and you do not know how certain dosages may effect your body. For this reason, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery immediately after taking Ophthalmic Gentamicin.

Storage

Ophthalmic Gentamicin should be stored at room temperature (59-77 F), out of direct heat or light. Avoid freezing Ophthalmic Gentamicin. Be sure that the cap is on tightly, and that the medicine is stored out of the reach of children or pets. If there is a child safety lock on the container or ointment tube, ensure it is properly and tightly replaced between each use.

If you need to dispose of extra, unused, or expired Ophthalmic Gentamicin, you should follow the FDA's guidelines on safe disposal of prescription medicine. Never throw medicine in the regular trash bin or flush it down the toilet. If available, the best option is to take the medicine to a take-back program. You can talk to your local pharmacist about local medicine take-back programs. If no take-back program is available, you can read about other safe disposal methods on the FDA's website. When throwing out the container or tube of Ophthalmic Gentamicin, be sure to scratch off any personal details from your prescription first. Containers can otherwise be disposed of in the normal garbage.

Summary

The ophthalmic route of Gentamicin is used to treat bacterial infections of the eye, and usually comes in either an eye drop solution or ointment cream. It belongs to a class of antibiotics, which are used to treat a variety of bacterial infections in different forms.

Ophthalmic Gentamicin can have a variety of side effects. You should report all side effects to your doctor, but keep in mind that blurriness and some irritation may occur in the first few minutes following application.

Dosage directions for Ophthalmic Gentamicin vary depending on the condition you are trying to treat and the way your infection reacts to the treatment. Always follow the dosage directions and guidance from you doctor in taking Ophthalmic Gentamicin.

Ophthalmic Gentamicin has a number of different medical interactions, varying in severity. Always tell your doctor about other medications you are taking or start taking while using Ophthalmic Gentamicin. Depending on what you need to take, your doctor might decide to alter your dosage of Ophthalmic Gentamicin, other medications, or prescribe a better treatment to fit your needs.

Ophthalmic Gentamicin is used to treat bacterial infections, and will not be effective (or even potentially harmful) in treating fungal infections.

Check the ointment or eye drops before using, and alert your doctor or pharmacist of any discoloration or particles in the solutions. This could be a sign that the medication has been infected.

Tell your doctor or check the ingredients list of Ophthalmic Gentamicin for anything you may be allergic to.

Ophthalmic Gentamicin has been found by the FDA to be generally safe to take while pregnant and breastfeeding. However, you should still tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding while taking Ophthalmic Gentamicin.

Pediatric and geriatric use of Ophthalmic Gentamicin is not widely used. Talk to your doctor about options before using Ophthalmic Gentamicin in children or elderly adults.

Do not drive or operate heavy machinery immediately after taking Ophthalmic Gentamicin, as you do not know how it may effect you.

Store Ophthalmic Gentamicin at room temperature, out of direct heat or light. Dispose of any extra Ophthalmic Gentamicin safely, following the FDA's guidelines on the safe disposal of medications.