Medication Guide App

dexamethasone

Pronunciation

Generic Name: dexamethasone (ophthalmic) (DEX a METH a sone off THAL mik)
Brand Name: AK-Dex, Ocu-Dex

What is dexamethasone ophthalmic?

Dexamethasone ophthalmic is in a class of drugs called corticosteroids. It inhibits processes in the body that cause inflammation. Therefore, the swelling and pain of inflammatory conditions is decreased.

Dexamethasone ophthalmic is used to treat eye inflammation caused by infections, injury, surgery, or other conditions.

Dexamethasone ophthalmic may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about dexamethasone ophthalmic?

Do not stop using this medication suddenly if you have been using it for several weeks or more. Before stopping, you may need to reduce the dose over several days to prevent side effects.

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Contact your doctor if your symptoms begin to get worse or if you do not see any improvement in your condition after a few days.

Do not touch the dropper or tube opening to any surface, including your eyes or hands. The dropper or tube opening is sterile. If it becomes contaminated, it could cause an infection in your eye.

Apply light pressure to the inside corner of your eye (near your nose) after each drop to prevent the fluid from draining down your tear ducts.

Who should not use dexamethasone ophthalmic?

Do not use dexamethasone ophthalmic if you have a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection in your eye without also receiving proper anti-infective treatment.

Dexamethasone ophthalmic is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether dexamethasone ophthalmic will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is also not known whether dexamethasone ophthalmic passes into breast milk. Do not use dexamethasone ophthalmic without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use dexamethasone ophthalmic?

Use dexamethasone ophthalmic eyedrops or ointment exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Wash your hands before using your eyedrops or ointment.

To apply the eyedrops:

  • Shake the bottle gently to be sure the medicine is well mixed. Tilt your head back slightly and pull down on your lower eyelid. Position the dropper above your eye. Look up and away from the dropper. Squeeze out the prescribed number of drops and close your eye. Apply gentle pressure to the inside corner of your eye (near your nose) for about 1 minute to prevent the liquid from draining down your tear duct. If you are using drops in both eyes, repeat the process in the other eye.

To apply the ointment:

  • Hold the tube in your hand for a few minutes to warm it up so that the ointment comes out easily. Tilt your head back slightly and pull down gently on your lower eyelid. Apply a thin film of the ointment into your lower eyelid. Close your eye and roll your eyeball around in all directions for 1 to 2 minutes. If you are applying another eye medication, allow at least 10 minutes before your next application.

Do not touch the dropper or tube opening to any surface, including your eyes or hands. The dropper or tube opening is sterile. If it becomes contaminated, it could cause an infection in your eye.

Do not use any eyedrop that is discolored or has particles in it.

Store dexamethasone ophthalmic at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle or tube properly capped.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and apply the next one as directed. Do not use a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this medication is unlikely to occur. If you do suspect an overdose, call an emergency room or poison control center near you. If the drops or ointment have been ingested, call an emergency center for advice.

What should I avoid while using dexamethasone ophthalmic?

Do not touch the dropper or tube opening to any surface, including your eyes or hands. The dropper or tube opening is sterile. If it becomes contaminated, it could cause an infection in your eye.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Dexamethasone ophthalmic may cause blurred vision. If you experience blurred vision, avoid these activities.

If you wear contact lenses, ask your doctor if you should wear them during treatment with dexamethasone ophthalmic.

Dexamethasone ophthalmic side effects

Serious side effects are not expected with this medication. Rarely, an increase in the pressure inside of the eye, formation of cataracts, or a perforation of the cornea has been reported. Talk to your doctor about any possible side effects.

More commonly, some burning, stinging, irritation, itching, redness, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light may occur.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Dexamethasone dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Iritis:

For steroid responsive inflammatory ocular conditions:
Solution: For severe conditions, initially instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour during the day and every 2 hours during the night. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 1 drop every 3 to 4 hours, then 1 drop 3 to 4 times daily.

Suspension: For severe conditions, instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 4 to 6 times daily, and gradually reduced further until discontinuation.

Ointment: Apply small amount to the conjunctiva 3 to 4 times a day. Once improvement is observed, may gradually reduce frequency before discontinuation.

Usual Adult Dose for Keratitis:

For steroid responsive inflammatory ocular conditions:
Solution: For severe conditions, initially instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour during the day and every 2 hours during the night. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 1 drop every 3 to 4 hours, then 1 drop 3 to 4 times daily.

Suspension: For severe conditions, instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 4 to 6 times daily, and gradually reduced further until discontinuation.

Ointment: Apply small amount to the conjunctiva 3 to 4 times a day. Once improvement is observed, may gradually reduce frequency before discontinuation.

Usual Adult Dose for Conjunctivitis:

For steroid responsive inflammatory ocular conditions:
Solution: For severe conditions, initially instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour during the day and every 2 hours during the night. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 1 drop every 3 to 4 hours, then 1 drop 3 to 4 times daily.

Suspension: For severe conditions, instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 4 to 6 times daily, and gradually reduced further until discontinuation.

Ointment: Apply small amount to the conjunctiva 3 to 4 times a day. Once improvement is observed, may gradually reduce frequency before discontinuation.

Usual Adult Dose for Cyclitis:

For steroid responsive inflammatory ocular conditions:
Solution: For severe conditions, initially instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour during the day and every 2 hours during the night. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 1 drop every 3 to 4 hours, then 1 drop 3 to 4 times daily.

Suspension: For severe conditions, instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 4 to 6 times daily, and gradually reduced further until discontinuation.

Ointment: Apply small amount to the conjunctiva 3 to 4 times a day. Once improvement is observed, may gradually reduce frequency before discontinuation.

Usual Adult Dose for Acute Otitis Externa:

Instill 3 to 4 drops in the affected ear 2 to 3 times a day. Dosage may be reduced gradually as symptoms improve.

Alternatively, a cotton wick may be saturated with the solution or suspension and inserted into the ear canal. The wick should be kept moist with the ear drops and replaced every 12 to 24 hours.

Usual Adult Dose for Uveitis:

For the treatment of macular edema following branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) or central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) and for the treatment of noninfectious uveitis affecting the posterior segment of the eye:

1 implant, containing 0.7 mg of dexamethasone, to be surgically injected into the vitreous cavity of the affected eye.

Usual Adult Dose for Macular Edema:

For the treatment of macular edema following branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) or central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) and for the treatment of noninfectious uveitis affecting the posterior segment of the eye:

1 implant, containing 0.7 mg of dexamethasone, to be surgically injected into the vitreous cavity of the affected eye.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Iritis:

1 year or older: For steroid responsive inflammatory ocular conditions:
Solution: For severe conditions, initially instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour during the day and every 2 hours during the night. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 1 drop every 3 to 4 hours, then 1 drop 3 to 4 times daily.

Suspension: For severe conditions, instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 4 to 6 times daily, and gradually reduced further until discontinuation.

Ointment: Apply small amount to the conjunctiva 3 to 4 times a day. Once improvement is observed, may gradually reduce frequency before discontinuation.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Keratitis:

1 year or older: For steroid responsive inflammatory ocular conditions:
Solution: For severe conditions, initially instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour during the day and every 2 hours during the night. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 1 drop every 3 to 4 hours, then 1 drop 3 to 4 times daily.

Suspension: For severe conditions, instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 4 to 6 times daily, and gradually reduced further until discontinuation.

Ointment: Apply small amount to the conjunctiva 3 to 4 times a day. Once improvement is observed, may gradually reduce frequency before discontinuation.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Conjunctivitis:

1 year or older: For steroid responsive inflammatory ocular conditions:
Solution: For severe conditions, initially instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour during the day and every 2 hours during the night. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 1 drop every 3 to 4 hours, then 1 drop 3 to 4 times daily.

Suspension: For severe conditions, instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 4 to 6 times daily, and gradually reduced further until discontinuation.

Ointment: Apply small amount to the conjunctiva 3 to 4 times a day. Once improvement is observed, may gradually reduce frequency before discontinuation.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Cyclitis:

1 year or older: For steroid responsive inflammatory ocular conditions:
Solution: For severe conditions, initially instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour during the day and every 2 hours during the night. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 1 drop every 3 to 4 hours, then 1 drop 3 to 4 times daily.

Suspension: For severe conditions, instill 1 to 2 drops in the lower conjunctival sac up to every hour. Once improvement is observed, dosage may be decreased to 4 to 6 times daily, and gradually reduced further until discontinuation.

Ointment: Apply small amount to the conjunctiva 3 to 4 times a day. Once improvement is observed, may gradually reduce frequency before discontinuation.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Acute Otitis Externa:

1 year or older:
Instill 3 to 4 drops in the affected ear 2 to 3 times a day. Dosage may be reduced gradually as symptoms improve.

Alternatively, a cotton wick may be saturated with the solution or suspension and inserted into the ear canal. The wick should be kept moist with the ear drops and replaced every 12 to 24 hours.

What other drugs will affect dexamethasone ophthalmic?

Do not use other eyedrops or eye medications during treatment with dexamethasone ophthalmic without first talking to your doctor.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking an oral steroid medication such as prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone, others), methylprednisolone (Medrol), hydrocortisone (Cortef, Hydrocortone), and others.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with dexamethasone ophthalmic. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about dexamethasone ophthalmic written for health professionals that you may read.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.03. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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