Senior Health Home > Precautions and Warnings With Tobramycin and Dexamethasone

With tobramycin and dexamethasone, there are many precautions to be aware of, including warnings relating to who should not take the drug and possible side effects that may occur. This prescription eye medication could increase the risk of glaucoma and may not be safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. To help minimize risks, tell your doctor about any medical conditions you have before using this drug.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Using Tobramycin and Dexamethasone?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using tobramycin and dexamethasone (Tobradex®) if you have:
  • A viral eye infection, such as a herpes eye infection
  • A fungal eye infection
  • A tuberculosis infection of the eye
  • Glaucoma
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using tobramycin and dexamethasone include the following:
  • This medication is for application on the eye only. It should never be injected directly into the eye.
  • Prolonged use of eye steroids (including tobramycin and dexamethasone) may increase the risk of glaucoma, a serious eye condition. Your healthcare provider should monitor the pressure in your eye (to check for glaucoma) regularly, especially if you use this medication for more than a few days.
  • Steroids (like the one in tobramycin and dexamethasone) can suppress the body's immune system. It is possible that tobramycin and dexamethasone (especially if used for a long time) may increase the risk of eye infections, including fungal and viral infections. Sometimes, steroids can mask an infection or make the infection worse.
  • In order to prevent contamination of the drops or ointment, do not touch the tip of the dropper or tube to any surface, including the surface of the eye.
  • Do not wear contact lenses if you have symptoms of an eye infection or while using this product.
  • Tobramycin and dexamethasone is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it might be unsafe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Tobradex and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if tobramycin and dexamethasone passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using the drug (see Tobradex and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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