Dexamethasone with antibacterial ear spray (Otomize)

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Use one spray in the affected ear(s) three times a day.

Continue to use the spray for two days after your symptoms have gone, but do not use the spray for more than seven days in total unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

If your symptoms do not improve within seven days, make another appointment to see your doctor.

Type of medicineAnti-inflammatory and anti-infective ear spray
Used forInflammation and infection of the outer parts of the ear (otitis externa)
Also calledOtomize®
Available asEar spray

Otitis externa is a term used for inflammation in the ear when it is confined to the ear canal and does not go further than the eardrum. It is usually due to an infection. If you get things like water, shampoo or soap in an ear then it can cause itching. If you then scratch or poke your ear, this can damage the skin in the ear canal and cause inflammation. The inflamed skin can then quickly become infected.

The brand name for dexamethasone with antibacterial ear spray is Otomize®. It contains several ingredients - dexamethasone, neomycin and acetic acid. Together, these ingredients relieve inflammation, infection, itching and pain. Otomize® spray is only available on prescription. It can be prescribed for adults and for children over 2 years of age.

To make sure that this is the right treatment for you, before you start using the spray please make sure that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • If you have a perforated eardrum, or if you have a grommet fitted in your ear.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
  • Before you start using the spray, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about the ingredients, and it will also provide you with more information on how to use the spray.
  • Before you use the spray for the first time, shake the container gently and then press the pump down a number of times until you see a fine spray. Make sure that the nozzle is not directed at anyone and try not to inhale the spray as you do this.
  • Use one spray three times a day into the affected ear. To do this, place the tip of the nozzle into your ear and press the pump down once. You should continue to use the spray for two days after your symptoms have gone. Do not use the spray for longer than seven days in total, unless your doctor has told you otherwise.
  • If you forget to use the spray, don't worry, use it as soon as you remember and then go on as before.
  • If you feel there is no improvement in your symptoms after you have used the spray for a week, stop using it and make another appointment to see your doctor.
  • You can remove the nozzle in order to clean it. When you put it back on the container, make sure that it 'clicks' back into place correctly.
  • To help stop further bouts of inflammation, try not to let soap or shampoo get into your ear canal when you wash. You can do this when you have a shower by gently placing a piece of cotton wool coated in soft white paraffin (eg, Vaseline®) into your ear. Do not poke your ear with cotton buds or use the corner of a towel to dry your ear, as this will push things further in.
  • Otitis externa is more common in regular swimmers compared with non-swimmers. This is due to the water which gets into your ear canal. If it is not possible for you to avoid swimming, try to protect your ears by not submerging them in water if possible.

You may get a slight feeling of burning or stinging when you first start using the spray. This is usually mild and soon passes. If you get a rash or if you notice any other symptoms which you think may be due to the spray, please ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice. Occasionally people can have a mild allergic reaction to the preservative in the spray.

  • The spray has an expiry of four weeks once opened. Do not keep any spray remaining after your course of treatment has finished to use at a later time.
  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

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

This preparation is for use in the ear only. If someone swallows some of it by accident, 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.

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, Otomize®; Forest Laboratories UK Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated June 2015.
  • British National Formulary; 70th Edition (Sep 2015) 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 Hannah Gronow
Document ID:
3674 (v25)
Last Checked:
11/02/2016
Next Review:
10/02/2019
The Information Standard - certified member

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