Ophthalmic erythromycin comes as an ointment to apply to the eyes. It is usually applied up to six times a day for eye infections. Ophthalmic erythromycin is usually applied one time in the hospital soon after delivery to prevent eye infections in newborn babies. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use erythromycin eye ointment exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
You should expect your symptoms to improve during your treatment. Call your doctor if your symptoms get worse or do not go away, or if you develop other problems with your eyes during your treatment.
To use the eye ointment, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Use a mirror or have someone else apply the ointment.
- Avoid touching the tip of the tube against your eye or anything else. The ointment must be kept clean.
- Tilt your head forward slightly.
- Holding the tube between your thumb and index finger, place the tube as near as possible to your eyelid without touching it.
- Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your cheek or nose.
- With the index finger of your other hand, pull the lower lid of your eye down to form a pocket.
- Place a small amount of ointment into the pocket made by the lower lid and the eye. A 1-centimeter (about 1/2-inch) strip of ointment usually is enough unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
- Look downward, then gently close your eyes and keep them closed for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the medication to be absorbed.
- Replace and tighten the cap right away.
- Wipe off any excess ointment from your eyelids and lashes with a clean tissue. Do not rub your eyes, even if your vision is blurry. Wash your hands again.
Use ophthalmic erythromycin until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop using ophthalmic erythromycin too soon, your infection may not be completely cured and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.