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Alrex (for the eyes) is a steroid medicine that is used to treat eye inflammation caused by allergies, shingles (herpes zoster), severe acne, iritis, or certain other conditions. The gel form of loteprednol ophthalmic is used to treat pain and swelling after eye surgery.
If you wear contact lenses, ask your doctor if you should wear them during treatment with this medicine. You should not wear contact lenses if your eyes are red. Sterilize contact lenses according to the manufacturer's directions, and check with your doctor before you begin using them again.
If your doctor does approve the wearing of contact lenses during treatment with this medication, remove the lenses before using the eye drops. The preservative in this product may be absorbed by contact lenses. Wait at least 10 to 15 minutes after each dose of the eye drop before wearing the lenses again.
To apply eye drops, wash your hands first. Shake the bottle well before using. To avoid contamination, do not touch the dropper tip or let it touch your eye or any other surface.
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 1 drop into the pouch. Look downward and gently close your eyes for 1 to 2 minutes. Place one finger at the corner of your eye (near the nose) and apply gentle pressure. This will prevent the medication from draining out. Try not to blink and do not rub your eye. Repeat these steps for your other eye if so directed and if your dose is for more than 1 drop.
Apply this medication usually 4 times a day or as directed by your doctor. Do not rinse the dropper. Replace the dropper cap after each use.
If you are using another kind of eye medication (for example, other drops or ointments), wait at least 5 to 10 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.
The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not use this medication more often or for longer than prescribed because doing so may increase your risk of side effects.
Continue to use this medication for the full time prescribed. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Do not use this product if it becomes contaminated (for example, drops turn a dark color). Use of contaminated eye medication can cause infection, serious damage to the eye, and loss of vision. Contact your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve after 2 days or if it worsens.
Before using loteprednol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: eye infections, recent eye surgery, cataracts, glaucoma (open-angle type), severe nearsightedness (myopia), diabetes.
After you apply this drug, your vision may become temporarily blurred. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
If you develop a new eye infection or injury, or require eye surgery, ask your doctor if you should continue to use your current bottle of loteprednol eye drops or start a new bottle.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known if the medication in this product passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Stinging/burning of the eyes for 1 to 2 minutes and temporary blurred vision may occur when you apply this medication. 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 periods or in high doses may cause serious eye problems (such as high pressure inside the eyes and cataracts). Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: vision problems, eye pain.
This medication may mask the signs of an eye infection. It may also put you at greater risk of developing an eye infection, especially with prolonged use. Report any new or worsening symptoms such as eye discharge/swelling/redness, vision problems, or no improvement of your current eye condition. Your doctor will need to adjust your treatment.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: headache, dizziness.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: 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.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.
What should I avoid while using loteprednol ophthalmic?
Do not share Alrex with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have. This medicine may cause blurred vision and may impair your reactions. Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you.