Medically reviewed on January 3, 2018
What is tobramycin ophthalmic?
Tobramycin is an antibiotic that fights bacteria.
Tobramycin ophthalmic (for the eyes) is used to treat bacterial infections of the eyes.
Tobramycin ophthalmic will not treat a viral or fungal infection of the eye. This medicine is for use in treating only bacterial infections.
Tobramycin ophthalmic may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to tobramycin, or if you have:
a viral or fungal infection in your eye.
To make sure tobramycin ophthalmic is safe for you, 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 or plan to become pregnant.
Tobramycin ophthalmic can pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in the nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
Tobramycin ophthalmic is not approved for use by anyone younger than 2 months old.
How should I use tobramycin ophthalmic?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Tobramycin ophthalmic is usually given as 1 to 2 drops into the affected eye every 4 hours. For a severe infection, you may need to use 2 drops every hour for a short time before reducing the dose and number of drops per day. Your doctor will tell you how long to keep using the medicine. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
Do not use this medicine while wearing contact lenses. Tobramycin ophthalmic may contain a preservative that can discolor soft contact lenses. Wait at least 15 minutes after using this medicine before putting in your contact lenses.
Wash your hands before using eye medication.
To apply 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 with the tip down. Look up and away from the dropper and squeeze out a drop.
Close your eyes for 2 or 3 minutes with your head tipped down, without blinking or squinting. Gently press your finger to the inside corner of the eye for about 1 minute, to keep the liquid from draining into your tear duct.
Use only the number of drops your doctor has prescribed. If you use more than one drop, wait about 5 minutes between drops.
Wait at least 10 minutes before using any other eye 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. Hold the ointment tube with the tip pointing toward this pocket. Look up and away from the tip.
Squeeze out a ribbon of ointment into the lower eyelid pocket without touching the tip of the tube to your eye. Blink your eye gently and then keep it closed for 1 or 2 minutes.
Use a tissue to wipe excess ointment from your eyelashes.
After opening your eyes, you may have blurred vision for a short time. Avoid driving or doing anything that requires you to be able to see clearly.
Do not touch the tip of the eye dropper or ointment tube, and do not place it directly on your eye. A contaminated dropper or tube tip can infect your eye, which could lead to serious vision problems.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze. Keep the medicine tightly closed when not in use.
Do not use the eye drops if the liquid has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
An overdose of tobramycin ophthalmic is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.
What should I avoid while using tobramycin ophthalmic?
This medicine may cause blurred vision and may impair your reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be able to see clearly.
Do not use other eye medications unless your doctor tells you to.
Avoid wearing contact lenses until you no longer have symptoms of the eye infection.
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.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe burning, stinging, or irritation after using this medicine; or
eye swelling, redness, severe discomfort, crusting or drainage (may be signs of infection).
Common side effects may include:
eye itching or redness;
mild burning, stinging, or irritation;
itchy or puffy eyelids;
blurred vision; or
your eyes may be more sensitive to light.
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)
What other drugs will affect tobramycin ophthalmic?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on tobramycin used in the eyes. 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.
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.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.02.
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