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Some commonly used brand names are:
In the U.S.—
Another commonly used name for hydrocortisone is cortisol .
Ophthalmic corticosteroids (kor-ti-ko-STER-oids) (cortisone-like medicines) are used to prevent permanent damage to the eye, which may occur with certain eye problems. They also provide relief from redness, irritation, and other discomfort.
Corticosteroids for use in the eye are available only with your doctor"s prescription, in the following dosage forms:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For ophthalmic corticosteroids, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to corticosteroids. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy—Although studies on birth defects with ophthalmic corticosteroids have not been done in humans, these medicines have not been reported to cause birth defects or other problems. However, in animal studies, dexamethasone, fluorometholone, hydrocortisone, and prednisolone caused birth defects when applied to the eyes of pregnant animals. Also, fluorometholone and medrysone caused other unwanted effects in the animal fetus.
Breast-feeding—Ophthalmic corticosteroids have not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.
Children—Children less than 2 years of age may be especially sensitive to the effects of ophthalmic corticosteroids. This may increase the chance of side effects. If this medicine has been ordered for a young child, you should discuss its use with your child"s doctor. Be sure you follow all of the doctor"s instructions very carefully.
Older adults—Although there is no specific information about the use of ophthalmic corticosteroids in the elderly, they are not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than they do in younger adults.
Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are using any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) ophthalmic medicine.
Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of ophthalmic corticosteroids. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
For patients who wear contact lenses :
For patients using an ophthalmic solution or suspension (eye drop) form of this medicine:
For patients using an ointment form of this medicine:
Do not use corticosteroids more often or for a longer time than your doctor ordered . To do so may increase the chance of side effects, especially in children 2 years of age or younger.
Do not use any leftover medicine for future eye problems without first checking with your doctor . This medicine should not be used if certain kinds of infections are present. To do so may make the infection worse and possibly lead to eye damage.
Dosing—The dose of ophthalmic corticosteroids 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 corticosteroids. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Missed dose—If you 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:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
If you will be using this medicine for more than a few weeks, an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) should examine your eyes at regular visits to make sure it does not cause unwanted effects.
If your eye condition does not improve after 5 to 7 days, or if it becomes 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 as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Less common or rare
Decreased vision; eye infection; eye pain; gradual blurring or loss of vision; nausea; vomiting
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:
Blurred vision (mild and temporary, occurs after use of ointments)
Less common or rare
Burning, stinging, redness, or watering of the eyes
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
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