Generic name: bacitracin and polymyxin b (ophthalmic route) [ bas-i-TRAY-sin-zink, pol-ee-MIX-in-B-SUL-fate ]
Drug class: Ophthalmic anti-infectives
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Dec 14, 2021.
Commonly used brand name(s)
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antibiotic Combination
Uses for Optimyxin
Bacitracin and polymyxin B combination is used to treat eye infections affecting the conjunctiva or cornea.
Bacitracin and polymyxin B belong to the class of medicines known as antibiotics. They work by killing the bacteria or preventing their growth.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using Optimyxin
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 this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine 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.
No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of bacitracin and polymyxin B combination in pediatric patients.
No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of bacitracin and polymyxin B combination in geriatric patients.
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 this medicine, 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 this medicine 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.
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.
Proper use of Optimyxin
Use this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of too much medicine being absorbed into the body and the chance of side effects.
To use the eye ointment:
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
- Lie down or tilt your head back. With your index finger, pull down the lower lid of your eye to form a pocket.
- Hold the tip of the tube close to your eye with the other hand. Avoid touching the tip of the tube to your eye or finger.
- Squeeze a ribbon of ointment into the pocket between your lower lid and eyeball. Close your eyes for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Wipe the tip with a clean tissue and close the tube tightly. Keep the tube tightly closed when you are not using it.
- To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the tip of the tube to any surface (including the eye). Keep the tube tightly closed.
To help clear up your infection completely, keep using this medicine for the full treatment time even if you feel better after the first few doses. The infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon. Do not miss any doses.
The dose of this medicine 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 this medicine. 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 form (eye ointment):
- For eye infections:
- Adults—Apply a small amount into the eye every 3 or 4 hours a day for 7 to 10 days.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For eye infections:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, 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.
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 Optimyxin
Your eye doctor (ophthalmologist) will want to examine your eyes at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects, especially if you will be using this medicine for longer than 10 days.
If your symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they become worse, check with your eye doctor right away.
This medicine may cause slow healing of the eye. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Check with your doctor right away if you have an eye injury, eye infection, or plan to have eye surgery.
Optimyxin 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:
Incidence not known
- Slow healing of the eye
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:
Incidence not known
- Burning, itching, redness, swelling, or irritation at the application site
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.
Frequently asked questions
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- Drug class: ophthalmic anti-infectives
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