Lodoxamide (Ophthalmic)

By preventing the body's production of histamines and leukotrienes, lodoxamide can reduce the effects of allergic reactions which are centered around the eyes.

Overview

Lodoxamide is a medicine which prevents the production of or reduces the amounts of leukotrienes and histamines in the body, which are the agents that cause the allergic symptoms affecting the eyes. The specific kinds of eye symptoms it treats are vernal keratoconjunctivitis, vernal keratitis, and vernal conjunctivitis, and all of these contribute to itchiness and watery eyes that can become very uncomfortable and irritating for the patient forced to deal with them.

This is a medication which is delivered via the ophthalmic route, most commonly by means of an eyedropper. When administering this medication, it is important to wash your hands beforehand with warm water and soap, and during application, the tip of the eyedropper should not be allowed to come into contact with the eye itself. The eyedropper should also not come into contact with any other surfaces, as it may contaminate the tip and pass on impurities into the eye. After the medicine has been administered, it is again important to wash your hands, so as to be sure that any medicine which may have touched your hands is removed.

Condition Treated

Allergic conditions affecting the eyes

Type Of Medicine

Mast cell stabilizer

Side Effects

Besides the beneficial effects that lodoxamide has in reducing allergy symptoms, there may also be some unwanted side effects it delivers to a patient, in varying degrees of severity. If any of the side effects listed below should occur in your own experience, you should alert your doctor to exactly which side effects you are undergoing, and how severe they are. It's possible that some kind of medical treatment may be necessary to manage the more severe side effects being experienced.

While it is extremely rare, it is possible for a patient to have an allergic reaction to lodoxamide, in which case medical attention should be sought immediately, before symptoms have the chance to become life-threatening. Side effects which are generally signs of an allergic reaction include the following:

  • Hives and/or rashes appearing on skin surfaces around the body
  • Extreme itchiness
  • Tightness in the chest, sometimes accompanied by severe difficulty with breathing
  • Dizziness or disorientation, to the degree that you feel you might faint
  • Swelling or puffiness around the eyelids, or possibly on the tongue, lips, or throat.

Some of the other possible side effects which patients may experience include those listed below:

  • Blurry vision or other vision problems
  • Sensitivity to direct light
  • Skin rashes
  • Persistent headaches
  • Eye pain
  • Mucus draining from the eyes
  • Swelling of the eyes or eyelids which was not present prior to administration of lodoxamide
  • Sensation that something is stuck in your eye
  • Discomfort, itching, tearing, or eye discharge which was not present prior to administration of the medicine
  • Burning or stinging sensation when the medicine is being applied
  • Aching around the eyes
  • Crusting on the eyelid or around corners of the eyes
  • Sleepiness or drowsiness
  • Dryness of the eyes or of the nose
  • Feeling that your eye is warm
  • Tired eyes
  • Sticky feeling around the eyes
  • Nausea or discomfort in the stomach
  • Scales appearing on the eyelashes or on the eyelids
  • Strong sensation of warmth or flushing throughout the body.

Dosage

When lodoxamide is being administered to a patient, it is most often done four times during the course of a given day, and it can either be done in a clinical setting, or via self-administration at home. Prior to attempting self-administration, you should consult with your doctor and be sure that you understand everything about the process, especially the proper handling of the medicine itself and the eyedropper used to deliver it.

You should not use any more of this medicine than your doctor prescribes, nor should you use less of it, since your doctor will have prescribed a precise dosage which should be necessary to manage the symptoms you are exhibiting. The procedure for self-administration is as follows:

  • Make sure your hands have been thoroughly washed with warm water and soap
  • Check the tip of the eyedropper to make sure that no damage has been done to it, such as cracking or breaking
  • Make sure that the tip of the eyedropper is not touched against any other surface, even your eyes themselves
  • Tilt your head back and use your index finger to gently pull down the lower eyelid, thus forming a small pocket
  • Use your free hand to hold the eyedropper as close as you can get it to the eye being treated without actually touching it
  • Hold the other fingers of that same hand against your face for support
  • While looking straight up at the ceiling, squeeze the eyedropper gently so that only one drop will fall into the small pocket formed by the lower eyelid
  • After the drop has been delivered, you can remove your index finger
  • Close the eye which has been medicated for approximately three minutes and face your head downward toward the floor, without blinking or squeezing your eyelids together
  • Wipe away any excess fluid which has formed around the eye using a dry tissue
  • If your doctor has prescribed more than a single drop during each dosage session, you will have to wait at least five minutes before administering the secondary treatment
  • Replace the eyedropper in the bottle, without rinsing or wiping the tip of the eyedropper
  • Wash your hands again with soap and water, so as to remove any medication which may have gotten onto your hands.

Interactions

There is a possibility that lodoxamide may interact with other medications that you are currently taking, and if this happens, the interaction impact can take one of two forms: it can either exacerbate any side effects imparted by lodoxamide, or it can cause a decrease in the effectiveness of either or both of the affected drugs.

In order to prevent this kind of undesirable interaction, you should prepare a list of all the medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter drugs, prescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements, as well as the dosages of each one of these. Your doctor can then review this list and make a determination on whether or not there is a potential for lodoxamide to interact with any medication you are already using.

You can also use this medication list if you have to make an unplanned trip to an emergency room or some other health care clinic where your primary care doctor is not in residence. In either of these scenarios, a doctor can review your medication list, and prescribe a program of treatment for your medical condition which does not interact with any medication you are currently taking.

Since there are relatively few drug interactions associated with lodoxamide, this is not as big an issue as it might be with many other medications, but you should still go through the exercise of writing down a medication list, just to be on the safe side.

Warnings

The precautions and warnings associated with taking lodoxamide are fewer than they would be for many other medications, especially since this is an ophthalmic medication delivered directly into the eyes and not ingested. However, there are still a few warnings to be aware of, so that you don't exacerbate any existing medical condition you have already, or that you don't trigger a new problem.

Make sure to tell your doctor if you know that you are allergic to lodoxamide or any of the ingredients used in its manufacture. Along those same lines, you should also alert your doctor to the fact that you are allergic to any other substance, such as fabrics, pets, foods, or preservatives, because any of these allergic reactions could be triggered by inactive ingredients contained within lodoxamide.

Prior to beginning a treatment program including lodoxamide, you should completely review your medical history with your doctor, so that he/she is aware of all medical conditions from your past. This can help avoid any kind of undesirable impact on your current medical condition.

It's possible for your vision to become blurry or otherwise affected in the immediate aftermath of taking lodoxamide. This means that you should not plan any activities for an hour or so after administration of the medicine, especially any activities which will require you to have accurate vision, such as for reading.

It's also possible for lodoxamide to cause you to be drowsy or dizzy for a while afterward, and that means it would be inadvisable for you to operate machinery or to drive a motor vehicle since you could become a danger to yourself and others in this condition. For the same reason, you should not use alcohol or marijuana at the same time that you are being administered with lodoxamide because both of these are depressants which can deepen the effects of dizziness or drowsiness, and make you even more susceptible to some kind of danger.

During pregnancy, lodoxamide should only be used when absolutely necessary, and in any case, you should consult with your doctor about the situation if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. It is not known whether or not lodoxamide is passed on to a nursing infant through breast milk, and since there is some uncertainty surrounding the situation, it is better to err on the safe side, and not breast-feed while you are being treated with lodoxamide.

Storage

Lodoxamide should be kept in the container which it came in, with the cap tightly closed, and well out of the reach of any curious children. It is best kept at room temperature, in a location which is not subject to extremes of heat, moisture, cold, or direct light. The medicine should not be used if you can observe that the color has become different or that it contains suspended particles.

Unused medication should be disposed of properly so that no members of the household can be harmed by it. Your doctor or pharmacist can advise you on the proper method for disposal of lodoxamide, and if you lack this information, you can also consult the FDA website for the safe disposal of medicines.

Summary

Lodoxamide is a mast cell inhibitor medication, primarily used for the treatment of allergy symptoms which affect the eyes. It is delivered via the ophthalmic route, by means of an eyedropper which delivers a single drop to the affected eye. It will generally need to be administered three or four times each day, and the duration of treatment will be determined by your doctor, although it may have to be used throughout the entire allergy season.