Ophthalmic loteprednol 0.38%, 0.5% and 1% (Lotemax SM, Lotemax, Inveltys) are used to treat eye swelling and pain after cataract surgery (procedure to treat clouding of the lens in the eye). Loteprednol 0.2% (Alrex) is used as a short term treatment to reduce eye redness, itching, and swelling caused by seasonal allergies. Loteprednol 0.5% eye drops (Lotemax) are also used to reduce eye swelling caused by allergies, certain eye infections, ocular rosacea (condition that can cause swelling, redness, and itching of the eye), herpes zoster (shingles; a rash that can occur in people who have had chickenpox in the past and can affect the eyes), and other conditions. Loteprednol is in a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works by stopping the release of certain natural substances that cause swelling, itching and pain.
Ophthalmic loteprednol comes as a suspension (liquid) and a gel to instill in the eyes and as an eye ointment to apply to the eye. When used to treat eye swelling and pain after eye surgery, loteprednol 0.5% (Lotemax) eye drops, eye gel and eye ointment are usually applied 4 times a day beginning the day after surgery and continuing for 2 weeks. Loteprednol 0.38% gel (Lotemax SM) is usually instilled 3 times a day beginning the day after surgery and continuing for 2 weeks. Loteprednol 1% eye drops (Inveltys) are usually instilled 2 times a day beginning the day after surgery and continuing for 2 weeks. When used to treat seasonal allergies, loteprednol 0.2% eye drops (Alrex) are usually instilled in the affected eye(s) 4 times a day. When used to reduce eye swelling due to certain conditions, loteprednol 0.5% eye drops (Lotemax) are usually instilled in the affected eye(s) 4 times a day, but during the first week of treatment your doctor may tell you to it more often. Use loteprednol at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use loteprednol ophthalmic exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
When you use ophthalmic loteprednol, be careful not to let the tip of the bottle or tube touch your eyes, fingers, face, or any surface. If the tip does touch another surface, bacteria may get into the medication. Using eye medication that is contaminated with bacteria may cause serious damage to the eye or loss of vision. If you think your eye drops/gel/ointment has become contaminated, call your doctor or pharmacist.
To use the eye drops or gel follow these steps:
To use the eye ointment, follow these instructions:
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before using loteprednol eye drops,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use extra eye drops, gel, or ointment to make up for a missed dose.
Loteprednol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Ophthalmic loteprednol may increase the risk of developing glaucoma when used for a longer period of time. If you use loteprednol eye drops, eye gel, or ointment for 10 days or longer, your doctor will probably monitor the pressure in your eyes. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication.
Ophthalmic loteprednol may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the original container, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not freeze.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
If someone swallows ophthalmic loteprednol, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.