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What is Loteprednol?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 09 February 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Loteprednol is a corticosteroid medication doctors may prescribe to treat eye inflammation. The medication comes in the form of a solution suspended in eyedrops. The doctor determines an appropriate dosing schedule and duration of therapy for the patient to follow. If the medication is not effective, other steroids are available and the doctor may evaluate the patient again to see if something else is causing the eye inflammation.

This medication is suitable for the treatment of inflammation associated with seasonal allergies along with chronic keratitis and some other conditions. The patient's eyes will generally appear red and irritated, and may be more weepy than usual. Some patients experience swelling of the eyelids and flesh around the eye and can also have dry or itchy eyes, depending on the cause of the inflammation. An ophthalmologist needs to conduct an eye exam before prescribing any medication to check for damage to the eyes and any red flags indicative of serious underlying medical conditions.

The loteprednol may sting when first applied to the eyes and patients cannot wear contacts while using this medication. Once the patient blinks to spread the medication across the eye, the stinging sensation should resolve. Some patients note side effects like blurred vision, increased discharge from the eye, or soreness in the eyes. If these become severe, the patient should stop taking the medication and consult the doctor for advice on alternative medications and treatments.

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There are some potential risks to loteprednol. Patients with conditions associated with thinning of the cornea can be at risk for corneal perforation when they take this medication, especially if it is used in the long term. Long use can also cause glaucoma and patients with glaucoma should not take loteprednol, as it can exacerbate the condition. Older adults may experience more side effects while on this medication and the doctor may consider a lower dosage or more widely spaced medication schedule to deliver the medication while reducing the risk of severe side effects.

Before a doctor will prescribe loteprednol, she needs to check for the presence of an eye infection. Fungal, yeast, bacterial, and viral infections can get worse when steroids are used, as these drugs have an immunosuppressive effect. If a patient with an existing eye infection takes loteprednol, the infection will become more severe and the patient's symptoms will usually not improve. Severe eye infections can expose patients to risks like vision damage or vision loss, in addition to causing extreme discomfort.

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