Bacterial infections of the eye such as ulcers of the cornea or conjunctivitis are common. The treatment is usually through an antibacterial administered via an ophthalmic solution. For pink eye and corneal ulcers, ofloxacin ophthalmic solution is advised. Here are how it should be used and side effects one should be taking note of.
What Is Ofloxacin?
Ofloxacin is an antibiotic, particularly a fluoroquinolone, that destroys bacterial infections. It is also a treatment used for infections of the prostate, urinary tract infections (UTIs), skin infections, gonorrhea, chlamydia, pneumonia, and bronchitis. It comes in tablet and eye drop forms. While it is a known treatment for conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers, it is not a cure for fungal and viral eye infections.
Use of Ofloxacin Ophthalmic Solution
As mentioned, this ophthalmic solution which contains ofloxacin treats bacterial infections that cause ulcers in the cornea of the eye and conjunctivitis. For the treatment of corneal ulcers, dosages may vary per doctor. Some require that the drops be used every four to six hours. A whitish buildup may be noticed, but this is not a harmful side effect. Instead, this buildup is a sign that the treatment is working and it should disappear in a few days or weeks.
When applying the eye drops, follow these steps.
- Wash hands with soap and water before using the drops.
- Check the tip of the dropper to ensure that it is not cracked or chipped.
- Do not touch the dropper’s tip or place it on the eye directly. It may lead to contamination that may further cause eye problems.
- Tilt the head by a fraction and pull the lower eyelid down. Keep the dropper above the eye. The eyes should be looking up and away. Squeeze out one drop.
- Close the eyes for approximately three minutes with the head leaning down. Do not squint or blink. Gently press the insider corner of the eye for a minute. This should prevent the liquid from draining into the tear duct.
- Use only the number of drops prescribed by the doctor. If more than one drop is prescribed, then wait five minutes before adding another drop.
- If more than one ophthalmic solution is prescribed, then wait approximately 10 minutes before using the other eye drop.
Take note always to check the tip of the dropper. Also, if the colors of the eye drop change or appear to have particles in it, discontinue use. Ask for another prescription of the said ophthalmic solution or ask a pharmacist for a new bottle.
For Bacterial Conjunctivitis
The dosage regimen that is recommended is as follows:
- Day 1 and 2: One to two drops administered to the affected eye every two to four hours.
- Day 3 to 7: One to two drops administered to the affected eye four times a day.
For Corneal Ulcer
The dosage regimen that is recommended for the treatment of ulcers in the cornea is as follows:
- Day 1 and 2: One to two drops administered to the affected eye every 3 minutes. One to two drops should be administered every four to six hours.
- Day 3 to 7: One to two drops administered to the affected eye every hour.
- Day 7 to 9: One to two drops administered to the affected eye four times a day.
The bottles come in 5mL or 10mL sizes. Dosage varies for adults, children, and infants. Dose and use are still determined by a licensed physician or healthcare provider.
For missed doses, administer it as soon as possible. However, if the time for the next dose is near, then skip the said missed dose and follow a regular schedule of dosage. Take note not to double the dose.
Before this treatment is prescribed, it is cross-checked with existing medications an individual is currently taking. Some precautions one should take note of include the following.
- Advice the doctor or pharmacist if one has allergies to benzalkonium chloride, enoxacin, lomefloxacin, levofloxacin, ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, nalidixic acid, or sparfloxacin.
- Some medications may interact with ofloxacin. Be sure to state to the doctor or pharmacist if one is taking cyclosporine, theophylline, and anticoagulants like warfarin. Also, mention all prescription and noon prescription medicines that are taken. These include all supplements, vitamins, as well as herbal products one is currently on.
- The medication is ill-advised for pregnant women. Moreover, inform the doctor if one plans to get pregnant while taking the medication.
- Avoid wearing contact lenses when administering the medication. Ofloxacin contains benzalkonium chloride that may be absorbed by the contact lens. It may also discolor contact lenses. Wait approximately 10 to 15 minutes before putting in the contact lens.
This ophthalmic solution may cause adverse reactions. If the following signs and symptoms manifest, then immediately discontinue using the drops and consult with a doctor.
- Blurred Vision
- Burning or Stinging of the Eyes
- Dry Eyes
- Pain Felt in Eyes
- Puffy or Red Eyelids
- Redness or Itchiness of the Eyes
- Sensitivity to Light
- Watering of the Eyes
Some reactions to the medication may be severe in nature. If the following signs manifest, then immediately stop using the drops and head to the hospital for medical attention.
- Difficulty Swallowing or Breathing
- Skin Rashes
- Swelling of the Lower Legs, Ankles, Feet, Eyes, Lips, Tongue, Throat, or Face
In some cases, when a patient fails to advise the doctor of known allergies, an allergic reaction to the medication may occur. Symptoms of allergies to ofloxacin ophthalmic solution include the following.
- Swelling of Throat, Tongue, Lips, or Face
- Skin Breaks Out in Hives
- Difficulty Breathing
The medication should be placed in the container it is packaged in. As with all medications, keep it out of the reach of children. It should also be positioned in an area away from moisture and heat. As mentioned, if there are particles in the solution or if it has changed in color, then dispose of it immediately. Ask a doctor or pharmacist for a new bottle.