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Drugs reference index «Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic)»

Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic)

Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic)

Brand names: Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic)

Why is Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic) prescribed?

Gentamicin sulfate is an antibiotic. This form of gentamicin is an ophthalmic (applied directly in the eye) medication that is prescribed to treat infections such as conjunctivitis (pinkeye) and other eye infections.

Most important fact about Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic)

To help clear up your infection completely, keep using gentamicin eyedrops or eye ointment for the full time of treatment, even if your symptoms have disappeared. Do not allow anyone else to use Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic), and do not save it for use on another infection.

How should you take Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic)?

Use Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic) exactly as prescribed. To administer gentamicin, follow these steps:


  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Gently pull your lower eyelid down to form a pocket between your eye and the lid.
  3. Brace the eyedrop bottle on your forehead or on the bridge of your nose.
  4. Do not touch the applicator tip to your eye or any other surface.
  5. Close your eyes gently and keep them closed for a minute or two.
  6. Do not rinse the dropper.
  7. If you are using a second type of eyedrop, wait 5 to 10 minutes before applying it.

Eye Ointment

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Pull your lower eyelid down away from the eye to form a pocket.
  3. Squeeze a thin strip of ointment into the pouch.
  4. Avoid touching the tip of the tube to your eye or any other surface.
  5. Close your eyes for a couple of minutes.
  6. Wipe the tip of the tube with tissue and immediately replace the cap tightly.

Your vision may be blurred for a few minutes following application of the ointment.

  • If you miss a dose...Apply it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule.
  • Storage instructions...Store away from heat and light. Do not freeze.

What side effects may occur?

Occasional eye irritation—with itching, redness and swelling—may occur with use of the eyedrops. Occasional burning or stinging in the eye may occur with use of the ointment.

Why should Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic) not be prescribed?

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to gentamicin or certain other antibiotics, such as tobramycin, you should not take Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic). Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Special warnings about Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic)

Continued or prolonged use of Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic) may result in a growth of bacteria or fungi that do not respond to Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic) and can cause a second infection. Should this occur, notify your doctor.

Ophthalmic ointments may slow corneal healing.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic)

If gentamicin is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Always check with your doctor before combining gentamicin with other medications.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

There are no special recommendations for Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic). If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, ask your doctor for the best advice in your personal situation.

Recommended dosage for Gentamicin sulfate (ophthalmic)


Gentamicin Ophthalmic Solution

Put 1 or 2 drops into the affected eye every 4 hours. For severe infections, your doctor may increase your dosage up to a maximum of 2 drops once every hour.

Gentamicin Ophthalmic Ointment

Apply a thin strip—about one-third inch—of ointment to the affected eye 2 or 3 times a day.


Although there is no information on overdose with gentamicin ophthalmic products, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

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