How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Ofloxacin eye drops belong to the group of medications called fluoroquinolones. Fluoroquinolones are antibiotics that are used to treat infections caused by certain types of bacteria. Ofloxacin eye drops are used to treat eye infections such as bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye). The eye drops work by killing the bacteria that cause the infection.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each bottle contains a sterile ophthalmic solution of ofloxacin 0.3%. Nonmedicinal ingredients: benzalkonium chloride 0.005% (as preservative), sodium chloride, hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust the pH, and purified water.
How should I use this medication?
The usual dose of this medication is 1 to 2 drops in the affected eye(s) every 2 to 4 hours for the first 2 days and then 4 times a day for a total of 8 days. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, stop using this medication and contact your doctor.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
Use this medication for the full length of treatment your doctor has recommended, even if your symptoms have improved. This will reduce the chance of the infection returning.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to show you the correct method for using eye drops. It is very important to avoid touching the dropper tip to any surface, skin, or your eye. This contamination can result in a bacterial infection. Report any signs of an eye infection (e.g., redness, irritation, pain) to your doctor immediately.
To use the eye drops:
- Wash your hands before using the eye drops to avoid introducing new bacteria into the eye.
- Remove the cap and place it in a clean location. To avoid possible contamination, keep the tip of the container away from contact with any surface.
- Tilt your head back and look towards the ceiling.
- With your index finger, gently pull the lower eyelid down and away from the eye to form a pouch.
- Apply one drop into the pouch but do not allow the tip of the container to touch the eye or areas around the eye.
- Gently apply pressure to the inner corner of the eye (at the bridge of the nose) for about 30 seconds. (This is called nasolacrimal occlusion.) This prevents the medication from dripping down through the tear duct and being swallowed to be absorbed by the body, which could cause you to experience some side effects.
- Apply another drop to the affected eye if prescribed by your doctor.
- Repeat with the other eye, if prescribed by your doctor.
- Wash your hands again to remove any medication residue.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, instill it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not instill a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.
Safely discard any medication remaining in the dropper bottle 28 days after opening the container or after you have used the medication for the full length of time recommended by your doctor.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use this medication if you:
- are allergic to ofloxacin or any ingredients of this medication
- are allergic to other quinolone antibiotics (e.g., ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, moxifloxacin, levofloxacin)
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- burning, redness, itching, dryness, tearing, or stinging of the eye
- eye/eyelid swelling
- sensation of something is in your eye
- sensitivity of eye to light
- swelling of the face
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- severe eye irritation
- symptoms of a new eye infection (e.g., eye discharge, redness, itchiness or pain)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- symptoms of a severe allergic reaction (e.g., hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, eye, mouth, throat, or tongue)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Contact lenses: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication while wearing contact lenses has not been established. Do not wear contact lenses while you are using this medication.
New eye infections: The overgrowth of bacteria that are not affected by this medication may occur and cause a new eye infection. If you experience symptoms of a new eye infection (e.g., eye redness, discharge, pain or itching), contact your doctor.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: The eye drop form of medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using ofloxacin eye drops, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between ofloxacin eye drops and any of the following:
- other eye medications (e.g., drops or ointment)
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.