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Dexamethasone and tobramycin (ophthalmic)

Generic name: dexamethasone and tobramycin (ophthalmic) [ DEX-a-METH-a-sone-and-TOE-bra-MYE-sin-off-THAL-mik ]
Brand names: Tobradex, TobraDex ST
Dosage forms: ophthalmic ointment (0.1%-0.3%), ophthalmic suspension (0.05%-0.3%; 0.1%-0.3%)
Drug class: Ophthalmic steroids with anti-infectives

Medically reviewed by on Nov 18, 2022. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is dexamethasone and tobramycin ophthalmic?

Dexamethasone and tobramycin ophthalmic (for the eyes) is a combination antibiotic and steroid medicine that is used to treat eye inflammation caused by uveitis, eye injury, radiation, chemical burns, or certain other conditions.

dexamethasone and tobramycin is used when there is a risk of bacterial infection in or around the eye.

Dexamethasone and tobramycin ophthalmic may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


You should not use this medicine if you have a fungal or viral infection in your eyes (including herpes simplex).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use dexamethasone and tobramycin if you are allergic to dexamethasone or tobramycin, or if you have a fungal or viral infection in your eyes (including herpes simplex).

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How should I use dexamethasone and tobramycin ophthalmic?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Do not use while wearing soft contact lenses. A preservative in this medicine could permanently stain the lenses. Use the medicine at least 15 minutes before inserting your contact lenses.

Wash your hands before using eye medication.

Shake the eye drops well just before each use.

To use the eye drops: Tilt your head back slightly and pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket. Hold the dropper above the eye and squeeze a drop into this pocket. Close your eyes for 1 or 2 minutes.

Use only the number of drops your doctor has prescribed.

To apply the ointment: Tilt your head back slightly and pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket. Squeeze a ribbon of ointment from the tube into this pocket. Blink your eye gently and then keep it closed for 1 or 2 minutes. Wipe excess ointment from your eyelashes using a clean tissue.

Do not touch the tip of the eye dropper or ointment tube or place it directly on your eye. A contaminated tip can infect your eye, which could lead to serious vision problems.

If you use this medicine for longer than 10 days, you may need frequent vision tests to check the pressure inside your eyes.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 days of treatment.

You should not stop using this medicine suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

Store this medicine at room temperature. Do not freeze. Keep the tube tightly closed when not in use. Store the eye drops in an upright position.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.

Overdose symptoms may include eye redness or itching, watery eyes, and increased sensitivity to light.

What should I avoid while using dexamethasone and tobramycin ophthalmic?

Do not share dexamethasone and tobramycin with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

Dexamethasone and tobramycin ophthalmic side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Dexamethasone and tobramycin may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe eye redness, itching, or swelling;

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, seeing halos around lights;

  • pain behind your eyes, sudden vision changes;

  • slow healing after eye surgery; or

  • signs of eye infection--redness, severe discomfort, crusting or drainage.

Common side effects of dexamethasone and tobramycin may include:

  • minor burning or stinging.

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.

What other drugs will affect dexamethasone and tobramycin ophthalmic?

Medicine used in the eyes is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.