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What Is Ofloxacin Ophthalmic?

By Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Updated May 17, 2024
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Ofloxacin ophthalmic is a liquid medication intended only for application to the eyes to treat bacterial infections. This quinolone antibiotic may be prescribed to patients who have ulcers of the cornea or conjunctivitis, also called pink eye. Before using ofloxacin ophthalmic, patients should discuss its proper application and the potential side effects with their doctors.

Prior to use, patients should wash their hands thoroughly. They should tilt their heads back and gently pull down the lower eyelid of the affected eye with one finger. Without touching the tip of the applicator to the eyelid, the prescribed number of eye drops may be squeezed into the space between the eyeball and the eye lid. The patient should close his eyes without squeezing them tight, and tilt his head down for two to three minutes to allow the medication to distribute evenly.

One finger should then be pressed gently against the inner corner of the eye, and any excess medication may be wiped away with a clean tissue. Most patients will be prescribed one eye drop per affected eye for each dose. Those who are also prescribed eye ointment should apply the eye drops first, then wait five minutes before applying the ointment. The patient should wash his hands well after each application.

Some side effects may occur with the use of ofloxacin ophthalmic solution, which should be reported to the doctor if they become severe. Patients may experience temporary blurred vision, excessive tearing of the eyes, and increased sensitivity to sunlight. After a dose, the eyes may become dry, irritated, and red, and they may burn or sting temporarily. Some people have also reported an unpleasant taste in the mouth, itching, and eyelid crusting.

More serious side effects require a doctor's urgent care. Ofloxacin ophthalmic may rarely cause an allergic reaction, which may present with swelling of the face, lips, or throat. Patients may also have difficulty breathing or swallowing, a skin rash, and hives.

Certain precautions should be followed while undergoing treatment with ofloxacin ophthalmic eye drops. Patients should discuss the use of caffeinated beverages with their doctors. Those who wear contact lenses should take them out prior to each application, and wait to replace them for at least 10 minutes after a dose.

Before using ofloxacin ophthalmic to treat an eye infection, patients should disclose their other medical conditions, medications, and supplements. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should discuss the potential risks with their doctors. Ofloxacin ophthalmic may interact with other drugs, including blood thinners, theophylline, and cyclosporine.

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