HomeHealthHealthTobramycin (Tobrex): What is it for and how to use it

Tobramycin (Tobrex): What is it for and how to use it

Tobramycin is an antibiotic drug indicated for the treatment of eye infections caused by bacteria, such as conjunctivitis, keratitis or keratoconjunctivitis, as it works by preventing the growth of bacteria.

This remedy can be found in pharmacies or drugstores, in the form of eye drops or eye ointment, with the reference name Tobrex, but it can also be found with the similar names Tobracular, Tobranom or Tobracin, for example.

Tobramycin can be used by adults or children over 2 months of age and should only be used on the advice of an ophthalmologist, in doses and for the duration of treatment recommended by the doctor.

what is it for

Tobramycin is an antibiotic indicated for the treatment of bacterial infections in the eyes. Thus, the main indications of tobramycin are:

  • Conjunctivitis;
  • Blepharitis;
  • Blepharoconjunctivitis;
  • Keratitis;
  • Keratoconjunctivitis;
  • Dacryocystitis.

The use of tobramycin should be guided by the doctor with individualized doses according to the type of bacterial infection in the eye and the severity of the condition to be treated.

It is important to note that tobramycin only works against bacteria, and does not treat eye infections caused by viruses or fungi.

How to use

Tobramycin should be applied to the eye and should not be ingested or injected, nor should you be wearing contact lenses.

Before using tobramycin it is important to wash your hands with mild soap and water before applying the drops or ointment to the affected eye.

How tobramycin is used depends on the presentation and includes:

1. Tobramycin eye drops

Tobramycin in the form of eye drops should only be used in the affected eye. It is important to avoid eye contact with the eye drops so as not to contaminate the solution.

The normally recommended doses of tobramycin eye drops are:

  • Mild to moderate eye infections: the normally recommended dose is 1 to 2 drops of tobramycin eye drops in the affected eye every 4 hours;
  • Serious eye infections: the normally recommended dose is 2 drops of tobramycin eye drops in the affected eye every hour until improvement is noted. After verifying the improvement of symptoms, the drops should be applied every 4 hours, as directed by the ophthalmologist.

The dose of tobramycin eye drops should be reduced gradually, according to the response to treatment, under the supervision of the ophthalmologist.

To apply tobramycin eye drops, tilt your head back slightly and pull your lower eyelid down to form a small pouch. Then, hold the eye drops bottle above the eye with the tip facing down, look up and squeeze the bottle so that the drop falls into the affected eye.

After applying tobramycin eye drops, close the eye for 1 to 2 minutes without blinking and gently press the finger over the inner corner of the eye to prevent the eye drops from running into the tear duct.

In case the dose recommended by the doctor is more than 1 drop, you should wait about 5 minutes between the application of the drops.

Tobramycin eye drops should be stored at temperatures between 15º and 30ºC, and after opening it has a shelf life of 28 days, and should be discarded after this period.

2. Tobramycin ointment

Tobramycin ophthalmic ointment should only be used on the affected eye. It is important to avoid contacting the ointment tube with the eyes so as not to contaminate it.

The normally recommended doses of tobramycin ointment are:

  • Mild to moderate eye infections: the normally recommended dose is 1 centimeter of tobramycin ointment in the affected eye 2 to 3 times a day;
  • Serious eye infections: the normally recommended dose is 1 centimeter of tobramycin ointment in the affected eye every 3 to 4 hours until improvement is noted. After verifying the improvement of symptoms, the ophthalmologist can reduce the number of applications of the ointment.

The dose of tobramycin ointment should be reduced gradually, according to the response to treatment, under the supervision of the ophthalmologist.

To apply tobramycin ointment, tilt your head back slightly and pull your lower eyelid down to form a small pouch. Then, hold the ointment tube above the eye with the tip facing down pointing to the small pocket formed, look up and squeeze the tube so that the ointment is applied to the affected eye.

After applying tobramycin ointment, blink gently and close the eye for 1 to 2 minutes. When the eye is then opened, vision may be blurred or blurry for a short time, which is considered normal because of the ointment.

Tobramycin ointment should be stored in a refrigerator, at temperatures between 2º and 8ºC, and it is advisable not to store it in the refrigerator door, as opening and closing the door constantly can cause temperature variations in the ointment. Once opened, tobramycin ointment is valid for 28 days and should be discarded after that period.

Possible side effects

The most common side effects that can occur in the eyes during treatment with tobramycin are itching, redness, burning, stinging, irritation, swelling of the eyelids, blurred vision, or increased sensitivity to light and glare.

Tobramycin can also cause severe allergic reactions that need immediate medical attention. Therefore, you should stop treatment and seek the nearest emergency department if you experience symptoms such as itching in the body, difficulty breathing, feeling of a closed throat, swelling in the mouth, tongue or face. Know how to identify the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction.

who shouldn’t use

Tobramycin should not be used by newborns under 2 months of age, pregnant or breastfeeding women.

This medicine should also not be used by people who are allergic to tobramycin or other antibiotics such as gentamicin, amikacin, neomycin, streptomycin or vancomycin, for example.

In addition, tobramycin should not be used if the person wears a contact lens, and contact lens wear should be avoided during treatment.

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