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Antibiotic with Steroid Eye Medication

By: Dr. Dawn Ruben

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Overview

  • Topical eye medications are routinely used to treat various eye diseases in animals. Some medications contain only antibiotic, only steroids or a combination.
  • Antibiotic with steroid eye medication combines up to three antibiotics with a steroid, such as hydrocortisone or dexamethasone.
  • The antibiotics in the medication are used to prevent or treat various bacterial infections. The most commonly included antibiotics are bacitracin, neomycin and polymyxcin B.
  • The steroid is included to reduce inflammation surrounding the eye.
  • Only certain steroids can penetrate through the cornea and reduce inflammation within the eye. This medication, especially if the steroid is hydrocortisone, is not effective in treating anterior uveitis or other causes of inflammation within the eye since this steroid does not penetrate the cornea.
  • Antibiotics with steroid eye medication is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in humans and animals.
  • Human formulations: Cortisporin® (Burroughs-Wellcome), Maxitrol® (Alcon), NeoDecadron® (Merck) and various generics preparations
  • Veterinary formulations: Neobacimyx H® (Schering), Trioptic S® (Pfizer), Vetropolycin HC® (Pitman-Moore), Neo-Predef® Sterile Ointment (Upjohn), Chlorasone® (Evsco), Gentocin Durafilm® (Schering) and various generic preparations

    Uses of Antibiotics with Steroid Eye Medication

  • Antibiotics with steroid medication is used topically on the eye primarily to treat conjunctivitis in dogs.
  • It is also used to treat pannus as well as inflammation of the sclera and surrounding tissues.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, antibiotic with steroid eye medication can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Antibiotic with steroid eye medication should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Antibiotic with steroid medication should not be used in dogs with corneal ulcers. The steroid component will delay healing and can worsen the ulcer.
  • This medication should be avoided in cats with conjunctivitis. The most common cause of conjunctivitis in cats is herpes virus and the steroid can worsen the eye disease or delay recovery.
  • This medication has been found not to be effective in treating inflammation within the eye.

    How Antibiotic with Steroid Eye Medication is Supplied

  • This medication is available in an ointment or solution.
  • The ointment is available in 3.5 gram and 5 gram tubes.
  • The solution is available in 5 ml bottle.
  • There are various antibiotics used in the medication. Bacitracin 400 units, neomycin 3.5-5 mg and polymyxin B 10,000 unites are the most common. Other antibiotics are gentamicin 3mg/ml and chloramphenicol 1%.
  • There are various steroids used in the medication. Hydrocortisone acetate 1% per gram and dexamethasone 1% are the most common. Other steroids are prednisolone 2 to 2.5 mg/gm, isoflupredone 1mg/gm and betamethasone 1mg/ml.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • Antibiotics with steroids are initially administered topically to the eye 4 times a day. The frequency of administration is gradually tapered depending on the response to treatment.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse or prevent the development of resistance.





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