How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Betamethasone sodium phosphate - gentamicin eye-ear drops contain an antibiotic (gentamicin) and a corticosteroid (betamethasone). The antibiotic helps to clear up infections of the eye or ear caused by bacteria. The corticosteroid helps to reduce swelling, inflammation, and irritation of the affected area.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using 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 use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Garasone® is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada. For brands that may still be available, search under betamethasone sodium phosphate - gentamicin. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.

How should I use this medication?

Eye drops: Put 2 drops into the affected eye 3 or 4 times daily or as directed by the doctor. Your doctor may instruct you to use 2 drops every 2 hours in the early stages of treatment.

Eye ointment: Apply a thin film to the affected area 3 or 4 times a day or as directed by the doctor. Your doctor may instruct you to reduce the number of times in a day that you apply the ointment once improvement occurs.

Ear drops: Thoroughly clean the ear canal of wax and debris. Put 3 or 4 drops into the affected ear 3 times daily or as directed by the doctor. Lie with the affected ear turned upward and remain in this position for several minutes to make sure the medication penetrates the ear canal. If preferred, a cotton wick may be inserted into the canal and then saturated with the solution. Keep the wick moist by adding further solution every 4 hours. Replace the wick every 24 hours.

The symptoms of infection usually improve within 48 hours, with complete clearing of the signs and symptoms within two weeks. If you have not noticed any improvement within three days, notify your doctor.

If you wear soft contact lenses, do not wear them during treatment.

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 above, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, use 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 use 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, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

This medication is 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 listed here. The forms available for the specific brand you have searched are listed under "What form(s) does this medication come in?"

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 betamethasone, gentamicin, or any of the ingredients of the medication

Do not use the ear drops if you have a perforated eardrum or if you are missing eardrums.

Do not use the eye preparations if you:

  • have a viral infection of the eye, including:
    • herpes
    • vaccinia
    • varicella
  • have a foreign body (particle) removed from the eye
  • have a fungal infection of the eye
  • have a mycobacterial infection of the eye (tuberculosis of the eye)
  • have a trachoma infection of the eye

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 uses 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 using 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 or stinging
  • redness or watering of the eyes (eye drops and ointment)

Although most of these 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:

  • decreased vision (eye drops or ointment)
  • eye infection (eye drops or ointment)
  • eye pain (eye drops or ointment)
  • gradual blurring or loss of vision (eye drops or ointment)
  • ringing in ears, hearing loss, or vertigo (ear drops)

Stop using the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • itching, swelling, or other signs of irritation not present before use of this medication
  • redness of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid (eye drops or ointment)

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.

Contamination of dropper: To avoid contamination, do not touch the tip of the dropper or tube to any surface, including the surface of the eye.

Prolonged use: Prolonged use of this medication in the eye may result in increased pressure in the eye for some people. In conditions causing thinning of the cornea or sclera, perforation has been known to occur with the use of this type of medication. Prolonged use in the eye may result in the development of cataracts on the eye. If you are using this medication for ten days or longer, you should have regular eye check-ups with your doctor to test pressure in the eye.

Prolonged use may reduce the eye's resistance to infections and thus increase the risk of secondary eye infections. In acute infectious conditions of the eye, steroids may disguise infection or worsen existing infection.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk. Women should stop breast-feeding while they are taking this medication.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for children younger than 8 years.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between betamethasone sodium phosphate - gentamicin and any of the following:

  • other ear or eye drops or ointment (especially those containing corticosteroids or those that may have irritating effects)

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.