Gentamicin/Betamethasone Drops - Ophthalmic/Otic

Pronunciation: jen-tuh-MY-sin/bay-tuh-METH-uh-sown

Common Brand Name(s): Garasone

Important: How To Use This Information

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Uses

This combination medication is used to treat bacterial infections of the eye or outer ear that include swelling (inflammation). Gentamicin is an antibiotic that works by stopping the growth of bacteria. Betamethasone is a steroid that helps to decrease the swelling, redness, and itching.

This medication treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for other types of eye/ear infections and may worsen them (such as infections caused by viruses, fungi). Using any antibiotic when it is not needed can cause it to not work for future infections.

How To Use

Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Wash your hands first before using this product. To avoid contamination, do not touch the dropper tip or let it touch your ear/eye or any other surface.

EYE: Do not wear contact lenses while you are using this medicine. Sterilize contact lenses according to manufacturer's directions, and check with your doctor before you begin using them again.

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, usually 3 to 4 times daily or as directed by your doctor. 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 if your dose is for more than 1 drop or for your other eye if so directed.

If you are using another kind of eye medication (e.g., 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.

EAR: First, clean and dry the outer ear. To make sure that the right amount of medication is given, and to avoid touching the ear with the dropper, have another person insert the drops if possible. To lower the risk of dizziness, hold the container in your hand for a few minutes to warm it.

Lie on your side or tilt the affected ear upward. Hold the dropper directly over the ear, and place the prescribed number of drops into the ear canal, usually 3 to 4 times daily or as directed by your doctor. To help the drops roll into the ear of an adult, hold the earlobe up and back. In children, hold the earlobe down and back. Keep the head tilted for about 2 minutes, or insert a soft cotton plug if so directed. Your doctor may direct you to give this medication in another way by placing a cotton wick in the ear canal and keeping it moist throughout the day as directed. The wick should be replaced at least once a day. Repeat for the other ear if so directed.

Do not rinse the dropper. Replace the cap after use.

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. Continue to use this medication for the full time prescribed, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too soon may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve in 2 days, persists (longer than 10 days if used in the eye, longer than 5 to 7 days if used in the ear), or worsens.

Side Effects

If you are using this medication in the eye, stinging may occur when you first use it. If this effect persists or worsens, 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.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:

  • eye pain (when used in the eye)
  • vision changes (when used in the eye)
  • new or increased burning/irritation/swelling/redness in or around the eyes or ears

If you are using this medication in the ear, stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:

  • hearing loss
  • ringing in the ear
  • dizziness/feeling of spinning
  • loss of balance/coordination

Use of this medication for prolonged/repeated periods may result in a new fungal eye/ear infection. Do not use this medication for longer than prescribed. Contact your doctor if you have any new or worsening symptoms.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • 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.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to gentamicin or betamethasone; or to other aminoglycosides (e.g., tobramycin) or corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone); 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:

  • ear or eye infections due to fungus or certain viruses (vaccinia, chickenpox, herpes) or bacteria (tuberculosis, chlamydia)
  • other eye problems (e.g., glaucoma, nearsightedness)
  • a hole in the eardrum (if you are using this drug in the ear )
  • ear/eye surgery or injury
  • diabetes

If you are using this product in your eye, 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.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Similar medications pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug are:

  • other corticosteroid medications (e.g., prednisone)

Overdose

This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: mental/mood changes, headache, increased thirst/urination.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others or use the same container to treat both the eye and ear. Doing so may spread the infection.

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication in the eye for longer than 10 days (longer than 5 to 7 days if used in the ear), laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., hearing tests, ear/eye exam) should be performed regularly to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless your doctor tells you to.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light. Keep bottle tightly closed. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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