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Tobramycin (Tobrex) Eye Drops Side Effects, Uses & Dosage

What are tobramycin (Tobrex) eye drops? How does it work (mechanism of action)?

Tobramycin (Tobrex) is an antibiotic eye drop. Tobramycin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic that kills susceptible bacteria by blocking bacterial protein synthesis. Death of susceptible bacteria occurs because of the lack of functional proteins. Tobramycin treats only bacterial eye infections and does not work for other types of eye infections.

The FDA approved tobramycin eye drops in December 1980. In addition to eye drops, tobramycin is also available as 0.3% ointment which is also used to treat external bacterial infections of the eye.

What are the side effects of tobramcyin eye drops?

Side effects associated with the use of tobramycin eye drops are mostly limited to the area(s) of application. Reported side effects include:

  • tearing,
  • swelling of the eye, and
  • itching, stinging, or burning of the eye.

Administration of eye drops may cause temporary vision problems including blurred vision. Patients should not engage in dangerous activities such as driving until their vision improves.

Although serious allergic reactions to tobramycin are unlikely, patient suspected of experiencing such a reaction must seek emergency medical help. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include:

  • difficulty breathing,
  • swelling of the tongue,
  • face, or throat, and
  • severe rash.

What is the dosage for tobramcyin eye drops?

  • For all patients ≥ 2 months of age: Instill 1-2 drops into the infected eye every 4 to 6 hours. For severe infections, instill 2 drops into the infected eye every 30 minutes to an hour until improvement and then reduce to less frequent dosing intervals as indicated. Patients using tobramycin ophthalmic solution:
  • Should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after using eye drops;
  • Should be advised not to wear contact lenses during treatment of active eye infections;
  • Must take care to avoid touching the dropper tip to the eye while administrating eye drops;
  • Should wait for at least 5 minutes between applications if other eye drop preparations also are used.

Which drugs or supplements interact with tobramcyin eye drops?

Information on possible drug interactions with tobramycin ophthalmic drops is not found. However, as use of therapeutic levels of tobramycin eye drops does not result into clinically meaningful levels of drug in the blood, the potential for drug interaction with other agents is relatively low. Patients using other eye drops or those with pre-existing conditions of the eye should check with their doctor or pharmacists before using tobramycin ophthalmic drops.

Are tobramcyin eye drops safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

Most aminoglycoside antibiotics are excreted into breast milk in low concentrations. The risk for adverse effects in the nursing infant with use of ophthalmic tobramycin is considered to be low. However, consideration of the benefits of breastfeeding, the risk of potential infant drug exposure, and the risk of an untreated or inadequately treated infection should all be taken into account when making the decision to use tobramycin ophthalmic in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about tobramcyin eye drops?

  • Tobramycin is abvailable as 0.3% ophthalmic solution (eye drops or ointment).
  • Tobramycin ophthalmic solution should be stored at room temperature between 20 C and 25 (68 F and 77 F).
  • Tobramycin is avalible in generic form; however, you need a prescription to obtain it.

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