Administration Of Drugs In The Eye

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Last Medical Review: March 26, 2020
Medically Reviewed by Dr. David Costa Navarro

How to use them

It is important to keep the bottle of drops or ointment clean. You should never use the same drug with other people to avoid the risk of contagion. Do not store and use these drugs for problems other than those for which they were initially prescribed by the doctor.


  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • If you need to use eye drops, lift the bottle against the light and examine the contents. If the drug shows discolouration or contains sediment, get another bottle of the drug.
  • Heat the eye drops to room temperature by holding the bottle in your hands for about two minutes.
  • Sit or stand in front of a mirror or supine on the bed, slightly tilt the head backwards, with the index finger lower the eyelid forming a bag. With the opposite hand, place the dropper above the conjunctival sac exposed between the lower eyelid and the white part of the eye. Then squeeze the prescribed number of drops into the conjunctival sac.
  • If you need to use an ophthalmic ointment, proceed in the same way by putting a little ointment, without touching the eye with the tube, in the conjunctival space between the lower eyelid and the eyeball; slowly close your eye several times. Then remove the excess eye drops or ointment with a clean tissue. Repeat the procedure also in the other eye if the doctor has prescribed it.
  • Close the medicine bottle once the operation is finished.


Store the drug away from children, away from light and excessive heat. Remember that many eye drops that contain antibiotics and that are prepared at the time of the first use, will then be kept in the refrigerator and will have a limited duration. Therefore, always check in the package insert any special conservation rules. Even the eye drops used for simple eye irritations, must be renewed after about 20-30 days from opening the bottle. The expiry date shown on the package always refers to the sealed product.

How to do it

Always check, before using a drug in the eye, that it is specified on the package “for ophthalmic use or for ocular use”.  

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