This medication is used to treat certain eye conditions due to inflammation or injury. Dexamethasone works by relieving symptoms such as swelling, redness, and itching. It belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids.
This medication may also be used to treat swelling, redness, and itching of the outer ear due to inflammatory conditions.
EYE: Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, do not wear contact lenses while you are using this medicine. Sterilize contact lenses according to the manufacturer's directions, and check with your doctor before you begin using them again.
If your doctor does approve the wearing of contact lenses during treatment with this medication, remove the lenses before using the eye drops. The preservative in this product may be absorbed by contact lenses. Wait at least 15 minutes after each dose of the eye drop before wearing the lenses again.
To apply eye drops, wash your hands first. If you are using a suspension form of this medication, shake the bottle well before using. To avoid contamination, do not touch the dropper tip or let it touch your eye or any other surface.
Tilt your head back, look upward, and pull down the lower eyelid to make a pouch. Hold the dropper directly over your eye and place 1 drop into the pouch. Look downward and gently close your eyes for 1 to 2 minutes. Place one finger at the corner of your eye (near the nose) and apply gentle pressure. This will prevent the medication from draining out. Try not to blink and do not rub your eye. Repeat these steps for your other eye if so directed and if your dose is for more than 1 drop.
Apply as often as directed by your doctor. Do not rinse the dropper. Replace the dropper cap after each use.
If you are using another kind of eye medication (for example, other drops or ointments), wait at least 5 to 10 minutes before applying other medications. Use eye drops before eye ointments to allow the drops to enter the eye.
EAR: Clean and dry the ear canal before using this medication. To make sure the right amount of medication is given, and to avoid touching the ear with the dropper, have another person insert the drops if possible. To lower the risk of dizziness, hold the container in your hand for a few minutes in order to warm it.
To apply ear drops, wash your hands first. To avoid contamination, do not touch the dropper tip or let it touch your ear or any other surface. If you are using a suspension form of this medication, shake the bottle well before using. Lie on your side or tilt the affected ear upward. Hold the dropper directly over the ear and place the prescribed number of drops into the ear canal. To help the drops roll into the ear of an adult, hold the earlobe up and back. For children, hold the earlobe down and back. Keep the head tilted for 5 minutes, or insert a soft cotton plug if so directed. Alternatively, your doctor may instruct you to place a cotton/gauze plug in the ear canal, moisten it with the medication, and leave it in the ear for 12 to 24 hours or as directed. The plug should be replaced at least once a day.
Repeat these steps for the other ear if so directed. Apply as often as directed by your doctor. Do not rinse the dropper. Replace the dropper cap after each use.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day.
The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not use this medication more often or for longer than prescribed because doing so may increase your risk of side effects.
Continue to use this medication for the full time prescribed. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Do not use this product if it becomes contaminated (for example, drops turn a dark color). Use of contaminated eye medication can cause infection, serious damage to the eye, and loss of vision. Use of contaminated ear medication can cause infection, serious damage to the ear, and hearing loss. Contact your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve in a few days or if it worsens.
Rarely, stinging/burning of the eyes for 1 to 2 minutes may occur when you apply this medication. If used in the ear, stinging/burning may also rarely occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Use of this medication for prolonged periods or in high doses may cause serious eye problems (such as high pressure inside the eyes and cataracts). Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: vision problems, eye pain.
This medication may mask the signs of an eye/ear infection. It may also put you at greater risk of developing an eye/ear infection, especially with prolonged use. Report any new or worsening symptoms such as eye/ear discharge/swelling/redness, vision/hearing problems, or no improvement of your current eye/ear condition. Your doctor will need to adjust your treatment.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: headache, dizziness.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using dexamethasone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as sulfites found in some brands), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: eye infections, recent eye surgery, cataracts, glaucoma (open-angle type), severe nearsightedness (myopia), diabetes, other ear problems (such as a hole in your eardrum, ear infections).
After you apply this drug in the eyes, your vision may become temporarily unstable. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
If you develop a new eye infection or injury, or require eye surgery, ask your doctor if you should continue to use your current bottle of dexamethasone eye drops or start a new bottle.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Keep a list of all the products you use. Share the list with your doctor and pharmacist to reduce your risk for serious medication problems.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another condition unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in that case.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as eye exams, measurement of the pressure inside the eyes, ear exams) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Different brands of this medication have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Keep the bottle upright and tightly closed when not in use. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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