What Alrex is used for and how to use it
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Alrex - Consumer Medicine Information

Manufacture: Bausch and Lomb
Country: Canada
Condition: Cyclitis, Conjunctivitis, Iritis, Keratitis, Postoperative Ocular Inflammation, Rosacea, Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis
Class: Ophthalmic steroids
Form: Liquid solution, Eye drops (ophthalmic)
Ingredients: loteprednol etabonate, benzalkonium chloride, edetate disodium, glycerin, povidone, purified water, tyloxapol

(loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic suspension 0.2% w/v)

About this medication

What the medication is used for:

Alrex is used for the short-term relief of signs and symptoms (itching and redness in the eye) of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis due to pollens.

What it does:

Loteprednol etabonate is a corticosteriod. It acts by reducing inflammation and eases the symptoms (itching and redness) of allergic conjunctivitis due to pollens.

When it should not be used:

Do not use Alrex:

  • If you are allergic to loteprednol or any ingredient contained in Alrex (see What the nonmedicinal ingredients are), or if you are allergic to any other corticosteroid.
  • If you have eye diseases caused by viruses (such as herpes simplex, vaccinia, and varicella), or caused by bacteria or a fungus, or if you think you have any other eye infection.
  • If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, under 18 years of age or have had glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye, see Warnings and Precautions.

What the medicinal ingredient is:

The medicinal ingredient is loteprednol etabonate. Each mL contains 2 mg (0.2% w/v) loteprednol etabonate

What the important nonmedicinal ingredients are:

Benzalkonium Chloride (0.01% w/v) as preservative.

Edetate Disodium, Glycerin, Povidone, Purified Water and Tyloxapol. Hydrochloric Acid and/or Sodium Hydroxide may be added to adjust the pH.

What dosage forms it comes in:

Sterile ophthalmic suspension (eye drops) 0.2% w/v

Warning and precautions

BEFORE you use Alrex talk to your doctor or pharmacist if:

  • Alrex should not be used if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or under 18 years of age.
  • If you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding as there might be a risk of harm to the embryo/foetus or nursing baby.
  • If you have an eye disease/infection caused by viruses (such as herpes simplex, vaccinia, and varicella), or by bacteria or a fungus, or if you think you have any other eye infection.
  • If you have glaucoma or have been told that you have increased pressure in the eye as Alrex might increase the pressure in the eye. Glaucoma which occurs when the pressure in the eye increases for a period of time, can cause damage to the optic nerve, vision problems, and sometimes a loss of vision. Your doctor may monitor your intraocular pressure. Your doctor may also check your lens as there is a small risk Alrex might induce cataract formation.
  • If signs and symptoms fail to improve after two days of using Alrex, consult your doctor.

Consult your doctor if the following occurs while taking Alrex:

  • If you develop an eye infection or other new or worsening symptoms

The preservative in Alrex, benzalkonium chloride, may be absorbed by soft contact lenses. After instilling Alrex, you must wait at least 10 to 15 minutes before inserting your contact lenses. Do not wear a contact lens if your eye is red. Alrex should not be used to treat contact lens irritation.

Interactions with this medication

Drugs that may interact with Alrex include: medicines taken to control the ocular pressure. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have taken recently any other medicines, even those not prescribed.

Proper use of this medication

This product is sterile when packaged.

For ophthalmic use only.

Usual dose:

For Adults only.

Do not use Alrex in children, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • Shake Alrex eye drops vigorously before using.
  • Apply one drop of Alrex eye drops into the gap between your eyeball and eyelid, four times a day or as directed.
  • You will only use Alrex for a short period of time, usually not more than two weeks, unless specifically instructed by your doctor. Your doctor will tell you how long your treatment will last.
  • If redness or itching become aggravated or if signs and symptoms fail to improve after two days, consult your doctor.
  • Do not allow the tip of the dropper to touch any surface because this may contaminate the medicine.
  • If you wear soft contact lenses, after instilling Alrex, you must wait at least 10 to 15 minutes before inserting your contact lenses.
  • .If you are using another medicine in the eye, wait at least 10 minutes before applying.
  • Alrex should be stored upright between 15°–25°C for up to 28 days after first opening.

Overdose:

If you use more Alrex than you should, or there is accidental oral ingestion, you should immediately contact your doctor, or regional poison control centre.

Missed Dose:

If you forget to use Alrex eye drops, wait until the next dose and then continue as before. Do not double doses.

Side effects and what to do about them

Eye drops can cause your vision to be blurred. This usually passes quickly. Do not drive or use machines until your vision is clear.

Like all medicines, Alrex can have unwanted effects. The most common side effects in patients treated with Alrex are:

  • Increased pressure within the eye
  • Blurred or abnormal vision
  • Floaters in the eye
  • Burning when putting drops in the eye or at any time while on the medication
  • Swelling or discharge from the eyes
  • Painful, dry or sticky eyes
  • Tearing
  • Sensation of having an object in your eye
  • Itching in the eye or on the eyelid
  • Redness in the eye or on the eyelid
  • Photophobia (discomfort on exposure to light)
    • Other unwanted effects might include:

      • Headache or migraine, cough or sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, nervousness, facial swelling, general pain, or rash.

      If you notice these or any other effects, tell your doctor or a pharmacist.

      This is not a complete list of side effects. For any unexpected effects while taking Alrex, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

      How to store it

      Store upright between 15°–25°C (59°–77°F). DO NOT FREEZE.

      Keep out of reach of children.

      REPORTING SUSPECTED SIDE EFFECTS

      To monitor drug safety, Health Canada through the Canada Vigilance Program collects information on serious and unexpected effects of drugs . If you suspect you have had a serious or unexpected reaction to this drug you may notify Canada Vigilance:

      By toll-free telephone: 866-234-2345
      By toll-free fax: 866-678-6789
      Online: www.healthcanada.gc.ca/medeffect
      By email: CanadaVigilance@hc-sc.gc.ca

      By regular mail:
      Canada Vigilance National Office
      Marketed Health Products Safety and Effectiveness
      Information Bureau
      Marketed Health Products Directorate
      Health Products and Food Branch
      Health Canada
      Tunney’s Pasture, AL 0701C
      Ottawa ON K1A 0K9


      NOTE: Should you require information related to the management of the side effect, please contact your health care provider before notifying Canada Vigilance. The Canada Vigilance Program does not provide medical advice.

      More information

      This document plus the full product monograph, prepared for health professionals can be found at:

      http://www.bausch.ca

      or by contacting the sponsor, Bausch and Lomb Incorporated, at:
      1-888-459-5000