Alrex

1 What is Alrex?

Brand: Alrex, Lotemax

Generic: Loteprednol

Alrex is used to treat eye pain, redness and swelling caused by certain eye problems or eye surgery. it is also used to temporarily treat itching of the eye caused by a condition known as seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.

This medication belongs to a group of medications called corticosteroids (steroids or cortisone-like medications). This medication is only available with your doctor’s prescription.

This medication is available in the following forms:

  • Gel/Jelly
  • Suspension
  • Ointment

2 What To Know Before Using

As with all medicines, the risks of using Alrex must be compared to how much this medication will help you. This is a decision that you and your doctor will make together.

For this medication, there are many things that need to be considered:

Allergies

Inform your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other medications. It is also important to inform your doctor of any non-medicine allergies such as foods, dyes, preservatives or animals.

Pediatric

No appropriate studies have been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of this medication in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Up-to-date studies have not shown any problems specific to the elderly that would limit the use of this medication in the elderly population.

Pregnancy

This medication is listed as Pregnancy Category C. This means that animal studies have shown an adverse effect and no studies have been performed on pregnant women OR there are no adequate studies on pregnant animals and pregnant women.

Breastfeeding

There are no up-to-date studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication while breastfeeding. Weigh the potential risks with the benefits before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Certain medications should not be used together. However, in certain cases, two medications may be used together, even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change your dose or take other precautions.

When taking this medication, it is important that you inform your doctor if you are taking any of the medications listed below. The following interactions were selected on the basis of potential significance and are not all-inclusive.

Using this medication with any of the following medication is not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. Your doctor may make the decision not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medications you take:

  • Pixantrone

Other Interactions

Certain medications should not be used while eating, or while eating certain foods in case of negative interactions. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain mediations may also cause negative interactions. Talk with your doctor about the use of your medication with food, alcohol or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

Pre-existing medical problems may affect the use of this medication.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Cataract surgery - Use with caution. May cause delayed healing.
  • Certain eye diseases that cause the cornea to get thin - Use could cause a hole to form (perforation).
  • Eye infection caused by fungus or mycobacteria
  • Eye infection caused by virus (e.g., herpes simplex) - Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Glaucoma - Use with caution. May make this condition worse.

3 Proper Usage

Dosing

Different patients will be given a different dose of Alrex based on the strength of the medication. The number of doses you take each day, the time between doses and the length of time you take this medication depends on the reason you are taking this medication.

The following information only includes the average dose of this medication. If your dose is different, do not change it without first speaking to your doctor.

  • Wash your hands. Tilt your head back and press your lower finger gently just beneath the lower eyelid.
  • Pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to make a space. Drop the medication into this space.
  • Let go of the eyelid and close your eyes. Do not blink.
  • Keep the eyes closed and apply pressure to the inner corner of the eye for 1-2 minutes to allow your eye to absorb the medication.
  • Do not touch the applicator tip to any surface. Keep the container tightly closed. This will help prevent infection of the eye.

For eye pain or inflammation after surgery

  • Adults - Use 1-2 drops of the 0.5% eye gel or suspension in the affected eye 4 times per day, beginning 24 hours after surgery and for 2 weeks after.
  • Children - Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

For seasonal allergic conjunctivitis

  • Adults - Use one drop of the 0.2% eye suspension in the affected eye 4 times per day.
  • Children - Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

For other eye problems as determined by your doctor

  • Adults - Use 1-2 drops of the 0.5% eye suspension in the affected eye 4 times per day. During the first week, your doctor may want you to use the eye drops more often.
  • Children - Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of this medication, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your normal dosing schedule. Do not double dose.

Storage

Store this medication in a closed container at room temperature. Keep it away from heat, moisture and direct light. Do not freeze.

Keep out of the reach of children. Do not keep expired medication or medication you no longer need. Ask your doctor how to dispose of any medication you do not use.

4 Precautions To Take

It is very important that your doctor checks in with the you often while you are receiving Alrex to make sure that it is working properly.

This medication is not for long-term use. Steroid eye drops may cause glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye) or posterior subcapsular cataracts if used too long. Slow or delayed healing may also occur while using this medication after cataract surgery. You will need regular eye exams to check for these problems.

Do not use contact lenses while using Lotemax eye gel.

If you are using the 0.2%:

  • If your eyes are red, do not use contact lenses.
  • If your eyes are not red, soft contact lenses should be removed before using this medication. Wait at least 10 minutes after using the eye drops before re-inserting the contact lenses.
  • If you injure your eye or develop an eye infection, inform your doctor. You may need to change your medication or stop using it.
  • If your symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they become worse, inform your doctor.

5 Potential Side Effects

Alrex may produce unwanted affects along with the intended effects. Although not all of these side-effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side-effects:

More Common

  • Blurred vision or other change in vision
  • Redness or swelling of the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Swelling of the membrane covering the white part of the eye

Less Common

  • Discharge from the eye
  • Eye discomfort, irritation or pain
  • Redness of the eyelid or inner lining of the eyelid
  • Tiny bumps on the inner lining of the eyelid

Some side effects that may occur do not normally need medical attention. These may leave as your body becomes accustomed to treatment. Ask your doctor about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Talk to your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome, or if you have questions:

More Common

  • Burning when medication is applied
  • Dry eyes
  • Feeling of something in the eye
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Tearing or watering eye

Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any other side effects.

Ask your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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