Garamycin Ophthalmic

|Garamycin Ophthalmic

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GENTAMICIN (Ophthalmic)

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Garamycin
  • Genoptic Liquifilm
  • Genoptic S.O.P.
  • Gentacidin
  • Gentafair
  • Gentak
  • Ocu-Mycin
  • Spectro-Genta

In Canada—

  • Alcomicin
  • Garamycin

Generic name product may be available in the U.S.

Another commonly used name is gentamycin .


  • Antibacterial, ophthalmic


Gentamicin (jen-ta-MYE-sin) belongs to the family of medicines called antibiotics. Gentamicin ophthalmic preparations are used to treat infections of the eye.

Gentamicin is available only with your doctor"s prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Ophthalmic
  • Ophthalmic ointment (U.S. and Canada)
  • Ophthalmic solution (eye drops) (U.S. and Canada)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For ophthalmic gentamicin, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or to any related antibiotic, such as amikacin (e.g., Amikin), gentamicin by injection (e.g., Garamycin), kanamycin (e.g., Kantrex), neomycin (e.g., Mycifradin), netilmicin (e.g., Netromycin), streptomycin, or tobramycin (e.g., Nebcin). Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives.

Pregnancy—Gentamicin ophthalmic preparations have not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in humans.

Breast-feeding—Gentamicin ophthalmic preparations have not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

Children—There is no specific information comparing use of this medicine in babies up to one month of age with use in other age groups.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of this medicine in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Proper Use of This Medicine

For patients using the eye drop form of this medicine:

  • The bottle is only partially full to provide proper drop control.
  • To use:
    • First, wash your hands. Tilt the head back and with the index finger of one hand, press gently on the skin just beneath the lower eyelid and pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to make a space. Drop the medicine into this space. Let go of the eyelid and gently close the eyes. Do not blink. Keep the eyes closed for 1 or 2 minutes, to allow the medicine to come into contact with the infection.
  • If you think you did not get the drop of medicine into your eye properly, use another drop.
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses during treatment
  • To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface (including the eye). Also, keep the container tightly closed.

For patients using the eye ointment form of this medicine:

  • First, wash your hands. Tilt the head back and with the index finger of one hand, press gently on the skin just beneath the lower eyelid and pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to make a space. Squeeze a thin strip of ointment into this space. A 1-cm (approximately 1/3-inch) strip of ointment is usually enough unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Let go of the eyelid and gently close the eyes and keep them closed for 1 or 2 minutes, to allow the medicine to come into contact with the infection.
  • To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface (including the eye). After using gentamicin eye ointment, wipe the tip of the ointment tube with a clean tissue and keep the tube tightly closed.

To help clear up your infection completely, keep using this medicine for the full time of treatment , even if your symptoms have disappeared. Do not miss any doses .

Dosing—The dose of ophthalmic gentamicin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor"s orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of ophthalmic gentamicin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For ophthalmic ointment dosage form:
    • For eye infections:
      • Adults and children—Use every eight to twelve hours.
  • For ophthalmic solution (eye drops) dosage form:
    • For mild to moderate eye infections:
      • Adults and children—One to two drops every four hours.
    • For severe eye infections:
      • Adults and children—One to two drops as often as once every hour as directed by your doctor.

Missed dose—If you do miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Keep the medicine from freezing.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

Itching, redness, swelling, or other sign of irritation not present before use of this medicine; redness of eye, eyelid, or inner lining of eyelid


Black, tarry stools; blood in urine or stools; or unusual bleeding or swelling; blurred vision, eye pain, sensitivity to light, and/or tearing; seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there


Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

Less common

Burning or stinging

After application, eye ointments usually cause your vision to blur for a few minutes.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Revised: 07/18/2000

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