Dexamethasone (Ophthalmic)

Adult Medication


Notes for DFS monographs, for future reference:

  • Dexamethasone Eye Implant monograph should not include the statement, “Do not use this drug for longer than you were told by your doctor.” (In section: “What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?”)

  • Under “How is this drug best taken?”: Dexametheasone Solution (Drops) should use the heading ” Eye: ” instead of “Eye solution, suspension, and ointment.” Underneath this heading, in addition to the contact lens info, include the two bullet points that are listed under “Eye solution, suspension” in the main monograph (ie, “Tilt your head back…” and “After use, keep your eyes closed…”).

Brand Names: US

Maxidex; Ozurdex

Brand Names: Canada

Diodex; Maxidex; Ozurdex

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat eye swelling.
  • It is used to treat eye irritation.
  • It is used to treat ear swelling.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

All products:

  • If you have an allergy to dexamethasone or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.


  • If you have any of these health problems: A fungal, TB (tuberculosis), or viral infection of the eye.
  • If you have any kind of eye infection.


  • If you have a fungal infection of the ear.
  • If you have a hole in the eardrum.

Eye implant:

  • If you have glaucoma.
  • If you have ever had a herpes infection of the eye.
  • If you have a type of eye problem called torn or ruptured posterior lens capsule.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

All products:

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Do not use this drug for longer than you were told by your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

Solution or suspension:

  • If you are allergic to sulfites, talk with your doctor. Some products have sulfites.


  • Use care when driving or doing other tasks that call for clear eyesight.
  • Long-term use may raise the chance of cataracts or glaucoma. Talk with the doctor.
  • Have your eye pressure checked if you are on this drug for a long time. Talk with your doctor.

Eye implant:

  • This drug may cause blurred eyesight after you get the shot. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for clear eyesight until this goes away.
  • Some eye problems like swelling, raised eye pressure, cataracts, and glaucoma have happened with this drug. Talk with your doctor.
  • Have an eye exam as you have been told by your doctor.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

All products:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

All eye products:

  • Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.


  • Very bad ear irritation.

Eye implant:

  • Eye redness.
  • If bright lights bother your eyes.
  • Cough that does not go away.
  • Seeing floaters.
  • Very bad dizziness.
  • Very bad headache.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:


  • Eye irritation.
  • Blurred eyesight.
  • Feeling that something is in the eye.


  • Ear irritation.

Eye implant:

  • Dry eyes.
  • Blurred eyesight after the shot.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

For all uses of this drug:

  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Use as you have been told, even if your signs get better.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.


  • For the eye only.
  • Shake well before use.

Eye solution, suspension, and ointment:

  • Take out contact lenses before using this drug. Lenses may be put back in 15 minutes after this drug is given. Do not put contacts back in if your eyes are irritated or infected.
  • Do not touch the container tip to the eye, lid, or other skin.

Eye solution, suspension:

  • Tilt your head back and drop drug into the eye.
  • After use, keep your eyes closed. Put pressure on the inside corner of the eye. Do this for 1 to 2 minutes. This keeps the drug in your eye.

Eye ointment:

  • Gently pull down the lower lid and squeeze in how much the doctor told you to use.
  • Let go of the lower eyelid and keep eyes closed for 1 to 2 minutes.

Eye implant:

  • It is given as a shot into the eye.


  • If you are using this drug in the ear, use as the doctor tells you.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

Eye implant:

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

All other products:

  • Use a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not use 2 doses or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

Eye implant:

  • If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

All other products:

  • Store at room temperature.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date



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