This medication is used to treat bacterial infections (such as blepharitis, conjunctivitis) of the eye and the skin around the eyes (such as eyelids). It is also used to prevent infection after eye injury or surgery. It belongs to a class of drugs known as aminoglycoside antibiotics. Gentamicin works by killing the bacteria. This medication treats only bacterial eye infections. It will not work for other types of eye infections. Unnecessary use or misuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.
To apply eye drops, wash your hands first. To avoid contamination, do not touch the dropper tip or let it touch your eye or any other surface. Use in the eyes only. Do not swallow or inject. Do not wear contact lenses while you are using this medication. Sterilize contact lenses according to the manufacturer's directions, and check with your doctor before you begin using them again. 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 one drop into the pouch as directed by your doctor. Look downward, gently close your eyes, and place one finger at the corner of your eye (near the nose). Apply gentle pressure for 1 to 2 minutes before opening your eyes. This will prevent the medication from draining out. Try not to blink or rub your eye. Repeat these steps for your other eye if so directed or if your dose is for more than 1 drop. Wait several minutes for your vision to clear before driving or operating machinery. Do not rinse the dropper. Replace the dropper cap after each use. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Your doctor may direct you to use this medication more often at first, then use it less frequently as the infection improves. Follow your doctor's directions carefully. Your doctor may prescribe gentamicin drops for use during the day and gentamicin ointment at bedtime. If you are using another kind of eye medication (such as drops or ointments), wait at least 5 minutes before applying other medications. Use eye drops before eye ointments to allow the drops to enter the eye. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day. Continue using it for the full time prescribed. Stopping the medication too soon may allow the bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Eye stinging/burning/redness or temporary blurred vision may 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 or repeated periods may result in other types of eye infections, including fungal infections. Stop using this medication and contact your doctor if you notice new or worsening eye symptoms (such as pain, swelling, thick discharge or pus). Rarely, gentamicin products used in the eye may be absorbed and may cause serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, mental/mood changes (such as hallucinations). A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: 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 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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. Do not freeze. Keep all medications 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.
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 someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center 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.