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What do you treat with erythromycin ophthalmic ointment?

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Quick Answer

Erythromycin ophthalmic ointment is an antibiotic prescribed to treat bacterial eye infections. According to MedlinePlus, the ointment is also applied in hospitals to newborn infants following delivery to avoid eye infections.

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Full Answer

It is important to closely adhere to the instructions on the prescription label when using erythromycin ophthalmic ointment. Proper hand washing before and after applying the medication is required. To avoid contaminating the ointment, do not place the tip of the tube on anything, including the eye. To fully cure an eye infection, the prescription must be completed as indicated by the doctor. MedlinePlus warns that stopping the medication early can result in developing an antibiotic-resistant eye infection.

Side effects from erythromycin ophthalmic ointment include burning of the eye, stinging, itching and redness. Notify the doctor of side effects that are severe, unusual or do not clear up. Because blurred vision after application may occur, wait until regaining clear vision to drive. Prior to using the medication, inform the doctor of all other medications being used, any drug allergies and if the patient is pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant. MedlinePlus also advises informing the doctor if contact lenses are normally worn, as these should not be worn while treating an eye infection.

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