Eye Medications common eye medications

Published on August 3rd, 2012 | by Mark Erickson

Gentamicin eye drops for eye infections

Other names for Gentamicin: Garamycin Ophthalmic, Genoptic, Genoptic S.O.P., Gentacidin, Gentak, Ocu-Mycin

Why is Gentamicin medication prescribed?

Gentamicin can be used for endophthalmitis, as shown in this illustrationGentamicin kills bacteria that cause certain eye infections. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Gentamicin is commonly prescribed following an intravitreal eye injection like Lucentis, Avastin, Macugen or Kenalog.

How should gentamicin be used in my eye?

Gentamicin comes as eye drops and eye ointment. The eye drops usually are applied every 4-8 hours; the eye ointment usually is applied two to four times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part that you do not understand. Use gentamicin exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

For eyedrop installation instructions, click here.

To use the eye ointment, follow these instructions:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Use a mirror or have someone else apply the ointment.
  3. Avoid touching the tip of the tube against your eye or anything else. The ointment must be kept clean.
  4. Tilt your head forward slightly.
  5. Holding the tube between your thumb and index finger, place the tube as near as possible to your eyelid without touching it.
  6. Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your cheek or nose.
  7. With the index finger of your other hand, pull the lower lid of your eye down to form a pocket.
  8. Place a small amount of ointment into the pocket made by the lower lid and the eye. A 2-inch strip of ointment usually is enough unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  9. Gently close your eyes and keep them closed for 1-2 minutes to allow the medication to be absorbed.

Gentamicin special precautions

Before using gentamicin eyedrops or eye ointment:

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to gentamicin, other antibiotics, or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially other eye medications, and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using gentamicin, call your doctor immediately.
  • tell your doctor if you wear soft contact lenses. If the brand of gentamicin you are using contains benzalkonium chloride, wait at least 15 minutes after using the medicine to put in soft contact lenses.

What should I do if I forget a dose of Gentamicin?

Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Gentamicin side effects

Although side effects from gentamicin are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • eye irritation, burning, or stinging
  • swelling of the eye

How do I store Gentamicin?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the gentamicin, call your doctor.

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About the Author

Mark Erickson is a certified ophthalmic technician and ophthalmic photographer. He is a technical writer in the eye care industry. Mark is also an ophthalmic medical illustrator. His works have been published on the covers of more than 60 eye care publications. Some of his clients include National Geographic, Bausch & Lomb, Johnson & Johnson, Transitions, Genentech and Allergan.



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