Why is this medication prescribed?
Besifloxacin ophthalmic is used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis (pinkeye; infection of the membrane that covers the outside of the eyeballs and the inside of the eyelids). Besifloxacin is in a class of medications called fluoroquinolones. It works by killing the bacteria that cause infection.
How should this medicine be used?
Besifloxacin comes as an ophthalmic suspension (eye drops) to apply to the eyes. It is usually applied to the affected eye(s) three times a day, 4 to 12 hours apart, for 7 days. Use besifloxacin eye drops at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use besifloxacin eye drops 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 do not go away or get worse, or if you develop other problems with your eyes during your treatment.
Use besifloxacin eye drops until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop using besifloxacin eye drops too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.
When you use besifloxacin eye drops, be careful not to let the tip of the bottle touch your eye, fingers, or any surface. If the tip does touch another surface, bacteria may get into the eye drops. Using eye drops that are contaminated with bacteria may cause serious damage to the eye or loss of vision. If you think your eye drops have become contaminated, call your doctor or pharmacist.
To use the eye drops, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Check the dropper tip to make sure that it is not chipped or cracked.
- Avoid touching the dropper tip against your eye or anything else; eyedrops and dropper must be kept clean.
- While tilting your head back, pull down the lower lid of your eye with your index finger to form a pocket.
- Hold the dropper (tip down) with the other hand, as close to the eye as possible without touching it.
- Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your face.
- While looking up, gently squeeze the dropper so that a single drop falls into the pocket made by the lower eyelid. Remove your index finger from the lower eyelid.
- Close your eye for 2 to 3 minutes and tip your head down as though looking at the floor. Try not to blink or squeeze your eyelids.
- Place a finger on the tear duct and apply gentle pressure.
- Wipe any excess liquid from your face with a tissue.
- If you are to use more than one drop in the same eye, wait at least 5 minutes before instilling the next drop.
- Replace and tighten the cap on the dropper bottle. Do not wipe or rinse the dropper tip.
- Wash your hands to remove any medication.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using besifloxacin eye drops,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to besifloxacin, any other quinolone or fluoroquinolone antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin (Ciloxan, Cipro), gatifloxacin (Zymar), gemifloxacin (Factive), levofloxacin (Levaquin, Quixin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin) (not available in the U.S.), moxifloxacin (Avelox, Vigamox), nalidixic acid (NegGram), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin, Ocuflox), and sparfloxacin (Zagam) (not available in the U.S.), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in besifloxacin eye drops. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any medical condition.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using besifloxacin eye drops, call your doctor.
- tell your doctor if you wear contact lenses. You should not wear contact lenses while you have symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis or while you are using besifloxacin eye drops.
- you should know that bacterial conjunctivitis spreads easily. Wash your hands often, especially after you touch your eyes. When your infection goes away, you should wash or replace any eye makeup, contact lenses, or other objects that touched your infected eye(s).
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Place the missed dose in your eye(s) as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Besifloxacin eye drops may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- red, itchy, or irritated eyes
- eye pain
- blurred vision
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
Besifloxacin eye drops may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from light, excess heat, and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the besifloxacin eye drops, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.