The range of steroid use is very wide. Various drugs of this type are applicable for different purposes, from bodybuilding to the treatment of allergies. Some eye drops contain steroid substances.
Below we will tell you about types of steroid eye drops, available without prescription (over-the-counter) and those, which require it.
Over-the-Counter Steroid Eye Drops – Some Brand Names
In some countries, for example in Australia, you can buy antibiotic-containing steroid eye drops over the counter. However, in the US, steroid and antibiotic eye drops are prescription drugs, according to Medicinenet. We will describe these medical remedies further.
In the US, you can purchase the following drops (these are not steroid drugs) without a prescription:
- Acular (generic name Ketorolac, C15-H13-N-O3). These are non-steroidal eye drops, featuring a pronounced analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect. They reduce such symptoms as itching, pain, a sensation of an intraocular foreign body presence in the organ of vision. The main active constituent of Acular is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory preparation called ketorolac tromethamine, which has good analgesic action. The medicament also provides an anti-inflammatory effect and moderately decreases temperature of the organism. The drug’s impact is achieved thanks to its ability to suppress the cyclooxygenase (COX), the key enzyme that takes part in the metabolism of arachidonic acid (prostaglandin precursor). Prostaglandin substances are very important for inflammation occurrence, the development of painful reactions & hyperthermia. Ketorolac is also marketed as pills, injections, nasal sprays, under such brand names as Anku, Errkes, Keteks, Ketora, Ketorol, Kflam, Kirtolac, Sprix, Kop, Kroller, Onemer, Oradol, and Sukerin.
- Zyrtec/Alaway/Claritin Eye (generic name Ketotifen,C19-H19-N-O-S) is an antihistamine medicine, which is aimed at blocking H1 receptors of a nitrogenous compound histamine. It prevents the affection of tissues, organs by this active substance, thus averting the symptoms of allergies. The drug beneficially affects vessel walls, provides their fast restoration, lowers their permeability and removes edema and itch. Zyrtec is ideal for prophylaxis and treatment of eye itch, triggered by allergies, removing allergic and seasonal conjunctivitis. Zyrtec is not suitable for elimination of irritation, which contact lenses cause. In case of suffering from eye redness and other unpleasant sensations, induced by contact lenses wearing, consult a physician immediately. Ketotifen is also available under other brand names like Alijen, Aria, Asdown, Gloditen, Zalerg, Zaditen, Syntifen, Tofen, Supdel, etc. (including other forms) in different jurisdictions.
- Alomide/Lomide (generic name Lodoxamine, C11-H6-Cl-N3-O6). This drug stabilizes mast cells. Alomide is widespread in ophthalmology for curing allergic diseases. Its main component is tromethamine. The soft eye drops are used for preventing exacerbation of the illness. The therapeutic effect (reducing eye affliction) is observed within a few days after the start of the therapy. Lodoxamine was succesfully tested in the treatment of allergic conjuctivitis (Cerqueti P.M., Ricca V., Tosca M.A., Int Arch Allergy Immunol 1994).
- Pred-G. This preparation contains a combination of gentamicin (C21H43N5O7) and prednisolone acetate (C23H30O6). It’s suitable for treating some eye infections. Gentamicin belongs to the antibiotics (special class of medications). It destroys the bacteria, which are infectious agents. Prednisolone is a glucocorticosteroid that fights inflammation and allergy. It’s also characterized by antipruritic and antiexudative properties. Precautious measures should be taken by people with contact lenses. Such patients should remove them before the manipulation and re-wear them at least in 1/4 hour. Durable administration elevates intraocular pressure. Its indicator should be regularly measured if the treatment is prolonged (several weeks).
Antibiotic Steroid Eye Drops Names
These medications are combined version of steroid and antibiotic for removing infection. The steroid decreases inflammation while the antibiotic substance treats or precludes a disease.
Here are some examples:
- Blephamide. It possesses anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial qualities, provides bacteriostatic impact on staphylococci, liquidates symptoms of blepharitis and blepharoconjunctivitis, terminates congestion hyperemia and thickening of the eyelid edges. It’s prescribed for conjunctivitis and blepharitis. The best effect is observed in the initial and acute phases of the condition. The proper application: instill it directly into the eye, and distribute the excess suspension throughout the eyelids.
- Tobradex. It features combined action, suitable for topical application. An antimicrobial effect relieves inflammation. It’s effective for treating eye indispositions with inflammatory processes. Doctors also recommend to use it after a surgery to avert secondary infections appearing. Tobramycin (antibacterial component) and dexamethasone (glucocorticosteroid) are main active constituents. Children over 12 can use it. However, there is a restriction, concerning the continuance of the therapy (up to 7 days).
- Zylet. Its composition includes a 0.5% suspension of loteprednol etabonate and a 0.3% suspension of tobramycin. Its target is to kill inflammatory sources.The medicine is contraindicated in individuals with conjunctiva, viral diseases of the cornea, mycobacteria and fungal flora involvement. Durable use (over 10 days) induces an elevation of the intraocular pressure level and provokes secondary infection acceleration. Using after cavitary surgery can trigger slow scarring.
These drugs can be the reason of various adverse events. Ophthalmologists claim about the following manifestations:
- rashes, edema of the conjunctiva and eyelids, itching;
- high intraocular tension;
- bitter taste in the mouth;
- a feeling of “gritty eyes”;
- sharp drop in visual acuity;
- development of cataracts;
- acute painful reaction of the eyes to light;
- persistent dilatation of the eye apple.
This is not a complete list of all possible consequences. For more accurate comprehension, contact your healthcare practitioner and ask him for necessary medical advice. Don’t self-medicate. After the appearing of allergic reactions stop the treatment without hesitation.
Some people are wondering: “Can steroid eye drops cause weight gain?”. Perhaps this issue is caused by the misconception that any steroid affects the body mass. Doctors assure this is impossible since the dosage is typically too small to retard the metabolism.
Some precautions: lacrimation after instillation can occur. For safety purposes don’t drive vehicles directly after the application.
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On our website, you can find useful information about steroid medications. In particular, we wrote about topical steroid cream over the counter, steroid inhaler names, as well as epidural (cervical, lumbar, and thoracic) steroid injection.