Loteprednol and Tobramycin (Ophthalmic)

Overview

If patients are experiencing pain, swelling and/or inflammation in or around the eyes, physicians will examine them to determine what's causing their symptoms. Eye infections are a fairly common health complaint and can usually be treated relatively easily. However, doctors will need to examine the patient and determine whether the infection has been caused by bacteria, fungus or a virus.

If the infection is bacterial, Loteprednol and Tobramycin can be used to treat the patient's condition. As the medication is a combination of a corticosteroid and antibiotic, it will rid the patient of infection, whilst relieving their symptoms at the same time.

Tobramycin is classified as an aminoglycoside antibiotic and is often used to treat bacterial eye infections, such as bacterial conjunctivitis. The medication works by interrupting protein production in bacterial cells which then causes them to die. In addition to this, Tobramycin will prevent the bacterial cells from replicating, which means that the infection won't be able to spread.

Although Tobramycin will destroy the bacteria cells causing the infection, the patient may also require medication to relieve their symptoms. As a corticosteroid, Loteprednol is effective in reducing inflammation affecting the eyes. As patients can experience inflammation, swelling, pain and excessive tearing as a result of an eye infection, Loteprednol will provide fast relief from these symptoms, whilst Tobramycin takes effect.

Rather than prescribing two separate medications, physicians can treat bacterial eye infections and their symptoms with just one combination medicine. This makes treatment easier for the patient and ensures that they have the right dose of each medication. When used appropriately, Loteprednol and Tobramycin tends to take effect quickly and patients should notice a reduction in their symptoms within a few days of starting treatment.

Conditions Treated;

Bacterial eye infections

Type Of Medicine

Aminoglycoside antibiotic (Tobramycin)

Corticosteroid (Loteprednol)

Side Effects

When patients use Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops, they may notice some adverse effects. Generally, these are more common when patients first start using the medication but tend to dissipate over time. For example, patients may develop the following side effects when using Loteprednol and Tobramycin:

  • Headache
  • Burning of the eye
  • Stinging of the eye
  • Increased sensitivity of the eyes to light

If the above side effects are not bothersome to the patient and are fairly mild, they may not require additional medical treatment. However, if the side effects are on-going or are severe, patients should obtain medical advice.

Furthermore, patients will need to seek immediate medical attention if they develop the following side effects when using Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops:

  • Blurred vision
  • Rash on the skin
  • Change in vision
  • Pain in the eye
  • Feeling like something is in the eye
  • Itching of the eyelid
  • Joint pain
  • Increased intraocular pressure
  • Swelling of the eyelid
  • Loss of vision
  • Irritation or pain of the clear front part of the eye
  • Hoarseness
  • Sensitivity of the eyes to light
  • Hives
  • Swelling and irritation of the eye
  • Blurred vision or seeing blue-green halos around objects
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Decreased vision
  • Itching
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Redness of the skin
  • Wheezing
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Troubled breathing or swallowing
  • Redness of the eyelid
  • Dry eyes
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Eyelid redness, burning, itching, tenderness or pain
  • Swelling of the face, hands, lips, feet or of the eyelids
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Tearing
  • Swelling or stiffness
  • Redness of the eye

If patients experience any other side effects when they're using Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops, they should also obtain medical help or advice.

Dosage

When adult patients are prescribed Loteprednol and Tobramycin for the treatment of a bacterial eye infection, they are usually advised to administer 1-2 drops in the affected eye(s) every four to six hours. However, patients may be instructed to use Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops more often during the first two days of treatment.

Although this is a standard treatment regime, patients should always follow their physician's instructions when using this medication. If necessary, the patient's physician will modify their dose or instruct them to use Loteprednol and Tobramycin at a specific time.

Even if patients experience a reduction in their symptoms fairly quickly, they should continue using Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops for the full course of treatment. Stopping the treatment too early could result in the infection returning and it may be more difficult to treat in the future.

If patients wear contact lenses, they should remove them when using Loteprednol and Tobramycin. Patients should obtain medical advice before wearing their contact lenses once they've been diagnosed with an eye infection.

Before administering Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops, patients should wash their hands thoroughly and shake the bottle of medication. Patients can then press lightly on their lower eyelid. This will draw the eyelid away from the eye and create a space for the medication to be dropped into. After applying the appropriate dose of Loteprednol and Tobramycin, patients should close their eye and keep it closed for approximately one to two minutes. This ensures that the medication reaches the affected areas and that it is properly absorbed.

If patients were unable to administer the medication properly on their first attempt, they should apply another drop of Loteprednol and Tobramycin to the affected eye(s). After using the medication, patients should place the top on the container of medicine and wash their hands.

When using Loteprednol and Tobramycin, patients should not allow the applicator to come into contact with any other substances, including the eye itself. This ensures that the applicator is kept free of germs and reduces the risk of the bacteria or infection spreading.

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

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

Potential Drug Interactions:

Before using Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops, patients should tell their physician if they are taking or using any other prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and/or supplements. As some medications can interact with one another, physicians will need to ensure that it is safe for patients to proceed with treatment.

Similarly, patients should obtain medical advice before using any new medicines, supplements or vitamins once they have started to use Loteprednol and Tobramycin drops.

Warnings

If patients have any other medical problems or conditions, they must disclose them to their physician before they start to administer Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops. There are some conditions which can affect the suitability of treatment with Loteprednol and Tobramycin and these may include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataract surgery
  • Sclera problems
  • Cornea problems
  • Herpes simplex eye infection
  • Fungal eye infection
  • Tuberculosis eye infection
  • Smallpox eye infection
  • Viral eye infection
  • Chickenpox (Varicella) eye infection

As the effects of Loteprednol and Tobramycin on the pediatric population have not been specifically studied, this medication may not be prescribed to children or infants.

When using Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops, patients usually report an improvement in their symptoms within a few days. However, if symptoms continue or if they worsen, patients should contact their physician for further advice.

In many cases, a short course of treatment with Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops will treat the patient's infection. However, if patients are advised to take this medication for weeks at a time, they will need to have regular consultations with their doctor. This will enable their physician to ensure the medication is working and that it isn't having any unwanted effects.

Loteprednol and Tobramycin should be used with caution in patients who are pregnant and should only be used if it is absolutely necessary. As a category C medication, there may be some risk to the unborn fetus if this medication is used by pregnant patients. If safer alternatives are available, they should be used before treatment with Loteprednol and Tobramycin is considered.

If patients become pregnant when using Loteprednol and Tobramycin, they should notify their doctor straight away.

It is not known if Loteprednol and Tobramycin can be excreted in breast milk. Although Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops are not thought to have a systemic effect, patients may be advised to stop nursing whilst they are using this medication. If patients are breastfeeding, they should seek medical advice before using Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops.

Before administering this medication, patients should tell their physician if they have any existing allergies. In rare cases, Loteprednol and Tobramycin may cause the patient to exhibit an allergic reaction. If so, the patient will require emergency medical treatment. The symptoms of an allergy can include:

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

Storage

As patients are usually advised to use Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops more than once per day, they will be required to keep the medication at home. Patients should ensure that the medication is kept in a safe location and that children and/or pets cannot gain access to it.

In order to store Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops properly, patients should follow the medication guidelines. Typically, Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops can be kept at room temperature but they should be protected from heat, moisture and light.

If patients are advised to stop using the eye drops or if the medication reaches its expiry date, patients should dispose of it. However, it is not safe to throw medication out with regular household waste as it may pose a risk to other people. Instead, patients should contact their doctor's office or pharmacist and use a specialist medicine disposal service.

Summary

Although bacterial eye infections are not uncommon, they can cause distressing and irritating symptoms. As well as developing eye pain, patients may present with swelling, itching, irritation, inflammation and/or crusting of the eye.

By prescribing a combination medicine, such as Loteprednol and Tobramycin eye drops, physicians can ensure that the infection is fully removed from the patient's body and that their symptoms are relieved quickly and effectively.