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loteprednol (Ophthalmic route)

loe-te-PRED-nol

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Alrex
  • Lotemax

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Gel/Jelly
  • Suspension
  • Ointment

Therapeutic Class: Ophthalmologic Agent

Pharmacologic Class: Adrenal Glucocorticoid

Uses For loteprednol

Loteprednol is used to treat eye pain, redness, and swelling caused by certain eye problems or eye surgery. It is also used to temporarily treat itching of the eye caused by a condition known as seasonal allergic conjunctivitis. loteprednol belongs to the group of medicines known as corticosteroids (steroids or cortisone-like medicines).

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loteprednol is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using loteprednol

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For loteprednol, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to loteprednol or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of loteprednol in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of loteprednol in the elderly.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking loteprednol, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using loteprednol with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Pixantrone

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of loteprednol. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Cataract surgery—Use with caution. May cause delayed healing.
  • Certain eye diseases that cause the cornea to get thin—Use could cause a hole to form (perforation).
  • Eye infection caused by fungus, mycobacteria or
  • Eye infection caused by virus (e.g., herpes simplex)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Glaucoma—Use with caution. May make this condition worse.

Proper Use of loteprednol

Your eye doctor will tell you how much of loteprednol to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to. loteprednol is not for long-term use.

To use the eye drops or eye gel:

  • First, wash your hands. Then turn the closed bottle upside down and shake it one time before putting the medicine in your eye. Remove the cap with the bottle still being held upside down.
  • Tilt your head back and, pressing your finger gently on the skin just beneath the lower eyelid, pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to make a space. Drop the medicine into this space. Let go of the eyelid and gently close the eyes. Do not blink. Keep the eyes closed for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medicine to cover the eye.
  • If you think you did not get the drop of medicine into your eye properly, repeat the directions with another drop.
  • To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface (including the eye). Also, keep the container tightly closed.

Dosing

The dose of loteprednol will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of loteprednol. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For ophthalmic dosage forms (eye drops or eye gel):
    • For eye pain or inflammation after eye surgery:
      • Adults—Use one or two drops of the 0.5% eye gel or suspension in the affected eye four times a day, beginning 24 hours after surgery and for 2 weeks after.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For seasonal allergic conjunctivitis:
      • Adults—Use one drop of the 0.2% eye suspension in the affected eye four times a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For other eye problems as determined by your doctor:
      • Adults—Use one or two drops of the 0.5% eye suspension in the affected eye four times a day. During the first week, your doctor may want you to use the eye drops more often.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of loteprednol, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using loteprednol

Your eye doctor will want to examine your eye(s) at regular visits to make sure the medicine is working properly and is not causing unwanted effects.

Loteprednol eye drops or eye gel are not for long-term use. Steroid eye drops may cause glaucoma (increased pressure inside the eye) or posterior subcapsular cataracts (a rare type of cataract) if used too long. Slow or delayed healing may also occur while you are using loteprednol after cataract surgery. You will need to have regular eye exams with your doctor to check for these problems.

Do not wear contact lenses while you are using Lotemax® eye gel.

If you are using the 0.2% loteprednol: If your eyes are red, you should not wear contact lenses. If your eyes are not red, soft contact lenses should be removed before you use loteprednol. Wait at least 10 minutes after using the eye drops before reinserting the contact lenses.

If you hurt your eye or develop an eye infection, talk with your doctor right away. You may need to change your medicine or stop using it.

If your symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they becomes worse, check with your doctor.

loteprednol Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
  • Blurred vision or other change in vision
  • redness or swelling of the eye
  • sensitivity of the eyes to light
  • swelling of the membrane covering the white part of the eye
Less common
  • Discharge from the eye
  • eye discomfort, irritation, or pain
  • redness of the eyelid or inner lining of the eyelid
  • tiny bumps on the inner lining of the eyelid
Incidence not known
  • Blindness
  • delayed wound healing
  • loss of vision
  • nausea or vomiting

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Burning when medicine is applied
  • dry eyes
  • feeling of something in the eye
  • headache
  • itching
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • tearing or watery eye

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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