Ofloxacin eye drops (Exocin)

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Ofloxacin drops are used to treat bacterial eye infections.

Your vision may become slightly blurred for a short while after using the drops. If so, do not drive or use tools or machines until you can see clearly again.

After your symptoms have gone, continue to use the drops for a further 48 hours to make sure all the infection has cleared.

Type of medicineAntibacterial eye drops
Used forEye infections, in adults and children
Also calledExocin®
Available asEye drops

Ofloxacin eye drops are used to treat bacterial eye infections. They work by helping to kill the bacteria which are causing the infection.

Eye infections are a common cause of conjunctivitis. In conjunctivitis, your eye becomes inflamed, feels gritty, and may water more than usual. The white of your eye may look red, and your eyelids may become swollen and stuck together with a discharge when you wake up in the morning. Only one eye may be infected to begin with, but it often spreads to both eyes. Most cases of infective conjunctivitis clear within a week or so without treatment. For more severe infections, or for infections which do not clear on their own, an antibiotic eye drop such as ofloxacin can be used.

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start using ofloxacin eye drops it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic, or to any eye drops.
  • If you have a heart condition or an unusual heart rhythm.
  • If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  1. Wash your hands well before you use the drops.
  2. Remove the cap.
  3. Tilt your head back a little and pull the lower lid of your eye downwards to form a pocket.
  4. Hold the bottle upside down near to your eye. Try not to touch your eye as you do this.
  5. Apply enough pressure to the bottle to release one drop into your eye.
  6. Close your eye for a minute or two, and press gently on the side of your nose where the corner of your eye meets your nose. This helps to stop the drop from draining away and keeps it in your eye.
  7. Repeat the process in your other eye if you have been told to use the drops in both eyes.
  8. Replace the cap.
  • Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from the pack. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about the drops, and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from using them.
  • If your eyes have an obvious discharge or 'crust', it can help if you bathe them with cool clean water before using ofloxacin.
  • Use the drops regularly, exactly as your doctor tells you to. If the infection is severe, this is likely to be every 2-4 hours for the first two days. (Just use the drops while you are awake - you do not need to wake yourself up during the night to put them in.) On day three, reduce the frequency down to four times a day.
  • If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, speak again with your doctor.
  • When you first put the drops into your eye, it may cause blurred vision. This should quickly clear, but make sure you can see clearly again before you drive or use machines or tools.
  • Take care to avoid spreading the infection from one eye to the other, and to other members of your family. Washing your hands regularly (particularly after touching your eyes), and not sharing towels or pillows will help to prevent the infection from spreading.
  • Eye infections can cause your eyes to become more sensitive to sunlight than usual. Wearing sunglasses may help to prevent this.
  • If you are using any other eye drops, leave at least five minutes between applying each preparation. This is to prevent more liquid going into your eye than it can handle. Otherwise the drops will overflow from your eye and not have the intended effect.
  • Even when your eye appears normal again, there may still be some bacteria present. It is important to continue to use the drops for a further 48 hours once your eye appears normal. This will help to make sure that all the bacteria have been killed. It is likely that you may need to use the drops for about a week, but you should not use them for any longer than 10 days.
  • Do not wear contact lenses until your symptoms have completely gone. Wait for 24 hours after the last dose of eye drops before using your lenses again.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with ofloxacin eye drops. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with the drops. Speak with your doctor if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Common ofloxacin eye drop side-effectsWhat can I do if I experience this?
Eye irritation or discomfortThis is usually mild and does not last for long
Blurred visionIf this happens, do not drive until you can see clearly again

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the drops, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
  • Throw away the bottle after you have finished the course of treatment, even if there is some liquid left. Never keep opened bottles of eye drops to use later.

The drops are for use in the eyes only. If someone swallows some, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are using.

If you buy any medicines check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with your other medicines.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • Manufacturer's PIL, Exocin®; Allergan Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated May 2013.
  • British National Formulary; 66th Edition (September 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Helen Huins
Document ID:
3646 (v27)
Last Checked:
28/01/2014
Next Review:
27/01/2017
The Information Standard - certified member

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