The range of steroid use is very wide. Various drugs of this type are used for different purposes, from bodybuilding to the treatment of allergies. Some eye drops contain steroid substances.
Below we will tell you about the types of eye drops that can be bought without a prescription or by a healthcare expert’s prescription.
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 eye drops (these are not steroid drugs) without a prescription:
- Acular (generic name Ketorolac). It is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory med. Acular eye drops have a pronounced analgesic and anti-inflammatory action. They reduce such symptoms as itching, pain, a sense of a intraocular foreign body presence in the eye. The main active substance of Acular eye drops is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory preparation called ketorolac tromethamine, which has good analgesic effects. The med also provides an anti-inflammatory effect and moderately decreases temperature of the organism. The effect of the non-steroidal eye drops is achieved due to their ability to suppress the effect of 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.
- Zyrtec (generic name Ketotifen). It is an antihistamine med, which blocks H1 receptors of histamine. As a result, this biologically active substance cannot affect tissues or organs, therefore, the symptoms of allergy do not develop. The drug contributes to the quick restoring of vessel walls, lowering their permeability and removing edema and itch. Zirtek drops are used for the prevention and treatment of eye itch caused by allergies (allergic / seasonal conjunctivitis). Do not use Zirtek to treat irritation caused by wearing contact lenses. Consult your doctor on the use of contact lenses when you experience eye redness or irritation.
- Alomide (generic name Lodoxamine). This drug belongs to mast cell stabilizers. Alomide is used in ophthalmology for the treatment of diseases of the allergic nature. The main component of the drug is tromethamine. The medicine stabilizes the membranes of the mast cells. The soft eye drops have an anti-allergic action, and can be used both for preventing the development of allergy and for its exacerbation. The therapeutic effect of this drug is observed within a few days after the start of the treatment.
- Pred-G. This drug contains a combination of gentamicin and prednisolone acetate. Ophthalmic gentamicin is applied to treat some eye infections. Gentamicin belongs to the class of drugs called antibiotics. It acts by destroying the bacteria that cause the infection. Prednisolone is a glucocorticosteroid that has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects. The drug also has antipruritic and anti-exsudative action. Precautious measures should be taken by people wearing contact lenses. Before using the drug, they should remove contact lenses and re-wear them no earlier than in 15 minutes. As a result of prolonged use of drops, intraocular pressure may increase. If the drug is used for two weeks or more, the intraocular pressure should be measured regularly.
Antibiotic steroid eye drops names
These types of medications contain a combination of steroid and antibiotic for treating infection. The steroid decreases inflammation while the antibiotic substance treats or prevents infection.
Here are some antibiotic steroid eye drops names:
- Blephamide. It has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effect. It has a bacteriostatic effect against staphylococci, effectively eliminates allergic and inflammatory symptoms of blepharitis and blepharoconjunctivitis, under its influence, congestion hyperemia and thickening of the eyelid edges disappear. It is used for conjunctivitis and blepharitis. The best effect is observed in the initial and acute stages of blepharitis, if the drug is instilled directly into the eye, and the excess suspension is distributed throughout the eyelids. With the involvement of only an eyelid in the process, the drug can be applied in the form of applications directly to the eyelids.
- Tobradex. These are eye drops of combined action for topical application, which have an antimicrobial effect and relieve inflammation. The drug is equally effective as in the treatment of eye pathologies accompanied by inflammatory processes, and as a preventive agent that prevents the emergence of secondary infections in the post-operation period. Active components of drops are tobramycin (antibacterial component) and dexamethasone (glucocorticosteroid). This drug can be used for treating children above the age of 12 years. However, there is a restriction in the duration of treatment, which should not exceed 7 days.
- Zylet. The composition of Zylet eye drops includes a 0.5% suspension of Zylet loteprednol etabonate and a 0.3% suspension of tobramycin. The drops are prescribed to patients for the treatment of inflammatory diseases of the organ of vision. There are some contraindications to the use of the drug, which include viral diseases of the cornea and conjunctiva, mycobacteria and fungal flora involvement. Prolonged use of Zylet (more than 10 days) leads to an increase in the level of intraocular pressure, as well as the development of secondary infection. The use of eye drops after cavitary surgery causes a delay in scarring.
Side effects of antibiotic steroid eye drops
Antibiotic steroid eye drops can cause some side effects. Currently, ophthalmologists have information about the possible manifestations of such consequences of the drug:
- allergic reactions in the form of rashes, edema of the conjunctiva and eyelids, itching;
- bitter taste in the mouth;
- increased intraocular pressure;
- a feeling of “gritty eyes”;
- frequent dizziness;
- sharp drop in visual acuity after instillation;
- development of cataracts;
- acute painful reaction of the organs of vision to light;
- persistent dilatation of the apple of the eye.
This is not a complete list of all the side effects that may occur as a result of administration of eye drops containing steroids and antibiotics. If you have questions about side effects, contact your healthcare practitioner. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. When allergic reactions occur, the treatment should be stopped immediately.
Some people are wondering: “Can steroid eye drops cause weight gain?”. Perhaps this issue is caused by the misconception that any steroids affect the body weight. Doctors say that this is impossible. The dosage is typically too small to affect the metabolism.
Some precautions: Due to possible lacrimation after instillation of eye drops, it is not recommended to apply them directly before driving vehicles or servicing mechanical equipment.
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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.