Lotemax, a corticosteroid ophthalmic drop used to treat dry eye as well as to decrease inflammation after eye surgery, is a potent medication that can have serious side effects on the eye in some people. Lotemax is also used to treat some types of conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the lining of the eyeball and eyelid. Steroids of any type can cause serious problems; tell your doctor about new symptoms after starting Lotemax.
Lotemax, like other steroid ophthalmic drops, can raise the pressure in the eye, which can lead to glaucoma, a disease that compresses the optic nerve and damages the nerve fibers. Glaucoma can lead to blindness if not promptly treated. Signs of increased eye pressure may be pain in the eye and decreased vision.
Steroids, while decreasing inflammation, may also increase the risk of developing infection. Infections in the eye associated with Lotemax usage include fungal infections, herpes or mycobacteria, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), especially if people who already have these infections use the drop. Infections in the eye can worsen if Lotemax is used, because it can mask symptoms.
If people who have thin corneas use Lotemax, the cornea may become perforated, according to the FDA. The cornea is the thin membrane that covers the pupil and iris.
Use of any steroids, including Lotemax, can increase the risk of developing cataracts in the eye, according to the FDA. Signs of cataract formation are decreased vision and blurred vision.
Use After Surgery
Using Lotemax after having cataract surgery could increase your chance of developing an infection in the eye, and may also cause a blister formation, or bleb, according to the FDA.
Any drug can cause severe allergic reactions. If swelling around the eye, redness or pain in the eye, hives, rash or shortness of breath develop, stop using the drug and notify your doctor that you may be allergic to Lotemax.
According to the drug insert, Lotemax can also cause conjunctivitis, corneal abnormalities, uveitis--a potentially severe inflammation of the uvea, the central portion of the eye--swollen eyelids, vision changes and blurred vision.