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Vira-A

Generic Name: vidarabine ophthalmic (vye DARE a been)
Brand Name: Vira-A

What is Vira-A (vidarabine ophthalmic)?

Vidarabine is an antiviral medication. The exact way that vidarabine works against viruses in the eye is unknown.

Vidarabine ophthalmic is used to treat eye infections caused by the herpes virus.

Vidarabine 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 Vira-A (vidarabine ophthalmic)?

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

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

Vidarabine ophthalmic may increase eye sensitivity to bright light. Wear sunglasses to prevent irritation.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using Vira-A (vidarabine ophthalmic)?

Do not use vidarabine ophthalmic if you have a bacterial or fungal infection in the eye. It is used to treat infections caused by viruses only.

It is not known whether vidarabine ophthalmic will harm an unborn baby. Do not use vidarabine ophthalmic without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

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

How should I use Vira-A (vidarabine ophthalmic)?

Use vidarabine ophthalmic eye drops 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 the ointment.

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, approximately one half of an inch in length, into your lower eyelid. Close your eye and roll it around in all directions for 1 to 2 minutes. If you are applying another eye medication, allow at least 10 minutes before applying the other medication.

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

Store vidarabine ophthalmic at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the 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 the 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 not expected to cause harm.

If an overdose occurs in the eye, flush the eye with water for several minutes. If the ointment is ingested, drink plenty of fluid to dilute the medicine. The ingestion of a whole tube of vidarabine ophthalmic is not expected to cause harm. Call an emergency room or poison control center for additional advice in either of these situations.

What should I avoid while using Vira-A (vidarabine ophthalmic)?

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

Vidarabine ophthalmic may increase the sensitivity of the eyes to bright light. Wear sunglasses to prevent irritation.

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

Discuss with your doctor the use of contact lenses. After applying this medication, wait at least 15 minutes before inserting contact lenses.

Avoid other eye medications except under the direction of your doctor.

Vira-A (vidarabine ophthalmic) side effects

Serious side effects are not expected to occur with the use of this medication.

Commonly, some burning, stinging, pain, irritation, itching, redness, blurred vision, tearing, or sensitivity to light may occur. Continue to use vidarabine and talk to your doctor about any side effects that you experience.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Vira-A (vidarabine ophthalmic)?

Avoid other eye medications except under the direction of your doctor.

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

Further information

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about vidarabine ophthalmic written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Vidarabine ophthalmic is available with a prescription under the brand name Vira-A in a 3% strength. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

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.

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