Loteprednol (Ophthalmic)

Prescribed to treat swelling, pain and redness of the eye, Loteprednol can be used in response to various conditions or following eye surgery.

Overview

Classed as a topical corticosteroid anti-inflammatory, Loteprednol can be used to reduce inflammation, itching, swelling, redness or pain affecting the eyes. As well as being used to treat inflammation after eye surgeries, Loteprednol is prescribed to treat seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, keratitis, uveitis, episcleritis, pingueculitis and/or vernal keratoconjunctivitis.

Although Loteprednol is used to treat a variety of eye conditions, it is not usually prescribed to treat bacterial fungal or viral eye infections. Corticosteroids can act as an immunosuppressant which may make it more difficult for the body to fight these infections. In some cases, however, Loteprednol may be used to treat the symptoms of a bacterial eye infection, whilst antibiotics are used to target the infection itself.

As many eye conditions cause pain, itching, swelling, discomfort, excessive tearing and/or crusting of the eye, patients can find it difficult to cope with their symptoms. By applying Loteprednol, however, the symptoms caused by inflammation can be minimized or reduced completely. For recurrent conditions, such as seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, Loteprednol may be used on a routine basis to reduce the patient's symptoms.

Conditions Treated

Inflammation of the eye(s)

Type Of Medicine

Topical corticosteroid anti-inflammatory

Side Effects

When patients are prescribed Loteprednol, their physician should warn them about the side-effects they may experience. In many cases, side-effects are more apparent when patients begin using Loteprednol but are reduced over time.

For example, patients may notice the following adverse effects when using Loteprednol:

  • Burning when medicine is applied
  • Tearing of the eye
  • Dry eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Feeling of something in the eye
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Itching

If the above symptoms are not bothersome to the patient and are not particularly severe, they may not require further medical treatment. However, if the side-effects are severe or continuous, patients should seek medical help.

Patients should also inform their physician or a healthcare practitioner immediately if they develop the following side-effects after using Loteprednol:

  • Blurred vision or other change in vision
  • Swelling or redness of the eye
  • Eye irritation, pain or discomfort
  • Sensitivity of the eyes to light
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Swelling of the membrane covering the white part of the eye
  • Redness of the eyelid or inner lining of the eyelid
  • Blindness
  • Tiny bumps on the inner lining of the eyelid
  • Loss of vision
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Nausea or vomiting

If patients exhibit any other side-effects after being treated with Loteprednol, they should also obtain medical advice.

Dosage

Before applying Loteprednol gel or eye drops, patients should read the medication guide and ensure that they understand how the medicine works. When using Loteprednol, patients should follow their doctor's instructions and only apply the medication when they have been advised to do so.

A patient's dose will depend on a number of factors, such as their age, weight, medical history and the reason Loteprednol is being prescribed.

If adult patients are being treated for seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, for example, they are usually advised to apply one drop of 0.2% Loteprednol to the affected eye, four times per day.

Alternatively, patients may be instructed to use 0.5 Loteprednol after eye surgery. If so, adult patients will usually be prescribed one or two drops of Loteprednol eye gel or drops in the affected eye, four times per day. This treatment usually begins 24 hours after the surgery has taken place and continues for a period of two weeks.

If patients are prescribed Loteprednol eye gel or drops for any other eye conditions, their doctor will determine how often the medication should be applied. Most conditions can be treated with 0.5% Loteprednol, administered at a rate of one or two drops in the affected eye, four times per day. If necessary, patients may be advised to use Loteprednol eye drops or gel more often during the first week or their treatment.

Before applying Loteprednol eye drops or gel, patients should wash their hands thoroughly and shake the medicine bottle. Once the cap has been removed from the medicine bottle, patients should gently press on their lower eyelid. This draws the eyelid away from the eye and creates a space in which the medication can be applied.

After administering the appropriate dose of Loteprednol, patients can gently close their eye and should keep it closed for approximately one or two minutes. If possible, patients should not blink during this time. By keeping the eye closed, patients can ensure that the medication reaches the appropriate areas of the eye. Once this has been done, patients can place the cap back on the medicine bottle, store it in a safe location and wash their hands.

If patients were unable to administer the medication properly on their first attempt, they should administer another drop of Loteprednol to the affected eye(s).

When using Loteprednol, it's important that the applicator does not come into contact with any other surfaces or substances, including the eye itself. This helps to ensure that the applicator is kept germ-free and does not result in the patient's condition being transferred to other people if it is contagious.

If patients forget to administer a dose of Loteprednol, they should do so as soon as they remember. However, if their next dose of Loteprednol is due relatively soon, patients should simply skip the dose they've missed. Patients should not attempt to administer an extra or double dose of Loteprednol, even if an earlier dose of medication has been missed.

If patients are unsure how to administer Loteprednol or when to use the medication, they should contact their physician or pharmacist for advice.

Potential Drug Interactions

Before using Loteprednol eye gel or drops, patients should tell their physician if they are taking or using any other medicines. This includes prescription medicines, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and/or supplements.

Due to the risk of interactions occurring, the use of Loteprednol alongside any of the following medications is not recommended:

  • Bemiparin
  • Pixantrone
  • Nadroparin

In some cases, however, it may be in the patient's best interests to prescribe Loteprednol in conjunction with one the above medications. If so, the patient's dose may be modified or they may be advised to use their medication at a specific time.

Once patients have begun treatment with Loteprednol eye gel or drops, they should obtain medical advice before they use any new medications, supplements or vitamins.

Warnings

Before using Loteprednol, patients should tell their physician if they have any other health problems. There are some conditions which can affect the use of Loteprednol eye gel or drops and these may include:

  • Eye conditions which cause the cornea to become thinner than average
  • Cataract surgery
  • com/health/coma/">Glaucoma
  • Viral eye infections
  • Fungal eye infections

Although Loteprednol may be prescribed to pediatric patients in some instances, the medication has not been specifically tested in children and/or infants. When Loteprednol is prescribed to younger patients, their physician will determine what dose is appropriate.

Loteprednol eye gel or eye drops are not intended for long-term use. If used for too long, Loteprednol could cause increased pressure inside the eye (glaucoma) and/or a rare type of cataract, known as a posterior subcapsular cataract. If Loteprednol eye gel or eye drops are used after cataract surgery, they could prevent or delay the healing process.

Patients should not wear contact lenses if they are using Loteprednol eye gel and may be advised to temporarily stop wearing contact lenses if they are using Loteprednol eye drops at a strength of 0.5%.

If patients are using Loteprednol eye drops at a strength of 0.2% and their eyes are red, patients should not wear contact lenses. However, if the patient's eyes are not red, they may be able to wear contact lenses during their treatment with 0.2% Loteprednol eye drops. Patients should take their contact lenses out before administering the eye drops and wait at least ten minutes before reinserting them into the eyes.

If patients experience any other eye problems whilst using Loteprednol eye gels or eye drops, they should inform their physician straight away. If the patient has developed an eye infection or suffered an eye injury, they may need to stop using Loteprednol.

In most cases, patients notice an improvement in their symptoms within a few days of using Loteprednol eye drops or eye gel. However, if symptoms continue or if they worsen, patients should contact their physician for further advice.

As a category C medication, Loteprednol should be used with caution in pregnant patients. As the risk of harm to the unborn fetus cannot be ruled out, a safer alternative should be used, if one is available.

If patients become pregnant whilst using Loteprednol eye drops or eye gel, they should inform their physician straight away.

As the effects of Loteprednol on breastfeeding mothers is unclear, patients may be advised to stop nursing while they are taking this medication. It is not known if Loteprednol can be excreted in breast milk or if it would pose a risk to the infant. Due to this, patients should obtain medical advice before using Loteprednol whilst breastfeeding.

Before using Loteprednol, patients should tell their doctor if they have any known allergies. This includes allergies to medicines, foods, dyes, animals, preservatives and other substances. In rare cases, patients may exhibit an allergic reaction when using Loteprednol eye gel or drops. If so, they will require emergency medical care. An allergic reaction may include the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hives
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hoarseness
  • Rash on the skin
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the hands, face, lips, tongue, throat or mouth

Storage

As patients are usually advised to apply Loteprednol eye gel or drops more than once per day, they will need to store the medication at home. However, patients should be careful when keeping medicines at home and should ensure that children and/or pets cannot gain access to them.

In order to store Loteprednol properly, patients should follow the manufacturer's instructions and the medication guide. In most cases, Loteprednol eye drops and gel can be kept at room temperature but should be stored in a closed container at all times. In addition to this, Loteprednol eye gel or eye drops should be kept away from moisture, heat and light.

If patients are advised to stop using Loteprednol eye gel or drops or if the medication reaches its use-by date, patients should dispose of it carefully. It is not safe to keep old medication in the home but it should not be thrown out with regular household waste either. Instead, patients should contact their physician's office or pharmacist and use a designated medicine disposal service.

Summary

As Loteprednol eye gel and eye drops can be used to treat so many different eye conditions, it is a much-used medication. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is a particular problem for many patients and Loteprednol can help to reduce the symptoms of allergies, regardless of when they occur. If patients suffer from hay fever, for example, Loteprednol can be used to relieve their symptoms.

As well as being used to treat eye conditions, Loteprednol is also beneficial following eye surgery. As patients can experience inflammation following the medical procedure, Loteprednol can be used to ease their discomfort and ensure that they are not suffering from pain or swelling as a result of the procedure.

Available in different strengths and as either a gel or eye drops, Loteprednol is a first-line treatment for many conditions. Whilst it cannot be used on a long-term basis, it does provide effective relief for eye pain, redness, swelling and/or inflammation.