May 17, 2012

Can Eye Drop Medications be Used in the Ear?

Can EYE drop medications be used in the EAR for ear problems like ear infections?

For the most part, absolutely, but not vice-versa.

For pretty much any EAR drop preparation, there is an equivalent EYE drop preparation which can be used safely in the ear.

Why does this matter?

For some patients, the ear drops may burn when placed. Given eye drops uses a much "gentler" solution, such patients find that eye drops doesn't burn in the ear nearly as much compared to ear drops.

Also, it may be cheaper for the patient if the EYE drop medication is prescribed rather than the EAR drop medication. Often, it is not unusual for a brand name ear drop medication to be available in generic eye drop form.

NOW... EAR drop medications should NOT be used in the EYE because preservatives used in eye drop preparations are much gentler than those used in ear drops due to the eyeball being much more sensitive compared to the ear. As such, it may burn if ear drops are used in the eye... but not vice-versa.

• Floxin (Ear) equivalent to Ocuflox (Eye)
• Ciprodex (Ear) equivalent to Ciloxan (Eye) without the steroid dexamethasone
• Cipro HC (Ear) equivalent to Ciloxan (Eye) without the steroid hydrocortisone
• Cortisporin (neomycin-polymyxin-hydrocortisone) is available in both eye and ear preparations. Maxitrol (eye) contains decadron instead of hydrocortisone.
• Tobradex (Eye) can be used in the ear and is imprecisely similar to Cortisporin (Eye/Ear).
• Dexamethasone 0.1%, Fluocinonide 0.05%, as well as Prednisolone 1% (Eye) can all be used in the ear and is imprecisely similar to Dermotic
• Vasocidin (Eye) which contains sulfacetamide and prednisolone has no ear equivalent

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.


Anonymous said...

Ocuflox is ofloxacin, Floxin = Ciloxin

Anonymous said...

As someone who was a legged ear infection as a child, I found that my stupid ears could tolerate preparations for the eyes far better than those for ears. The ones for ears would cause astounding burning on par with an overly rapid descent or super heated golf pencils jammed in my ears. The eye drops proved to be the only viable option.

Anonymous said...

Can you use lacri-lube ointment or regular eye ointment (lacri-lube is basically like vaseline aka petroleum jelly, and lanolin a preservative). I read that someone went blind by using ear drops in the eye Cortisporin. Also can those preservatives lanoil be irritable to the eye or ear?

Angie Miller said...

My son has ear infections all the time. He had tubes which fell out 18mos later. The Pediatrician always prescribes ciprodex drops. ($230.00 for less than .5oz bottle) Is there a less expensive drop out there. Ciprodex has no generic according to my pharmacist. Is there something I can buy OTC?

FYI .... He is allergic to cephlasporins.(??spelling)

Anonymous said...

Can I use Diomicete Drops in my ears - the leaflet says exclusively for ophthalmic use

Anonymous said...

My son just had Ciprodex ear drops prescribed, and when I go home I realized they were Ciloxan eye drops, I called the pharmacy because I was sure they had made a mistake. To my surprise, it was no mistake. My insurance wouldnt cover Ciprodex because of the cost, but would cover the Ciloxan eye drops. They said they would work just as well as the Ciprodex without the burning that sometimes comes along!

Rahul said...

Can Moxifloxacin eye drops used for Ear infections???

Unknown said...

Your pharmacist should have informed you of that kind of change rught at the time he dispensed the medicine for you

Unknown said...

Can i use gentamicin eye drops ip for ears...

Unknown said...

I have Pred Forte for my eyes. Can I use it for my inflamed ear?

Banner Map

Pediatric Neck Masses

Adult Neck Mass Workup