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Topical Ophthalmic Medication Guide: Steroids and NSAIDs

Feb 2, 2015
2 min read

The following is a topical ophthalmic medication guide summarizing steroids and NSAIDs. It includes concentrations and treatment tips.


Here is a complete list of commonly used ophthalmic medication, Corticosteroids and NSAIDs for you to print out or keep handy.

The last two ophthalmic medication (artificial tears and glaucoma medication) guides published by NGO have been received with such wonderful feedback that we’ve decided to bring you more. 

Inflammation is one of the most common ocular conditions our patients present with each day. Whether it is a post-op patient trying to prevent complication, a corneal ulcer, conjunctivitis, or chronic dry eye, anti-inflammatory medications play a role in the treatment of an array of diagnoses. Familiarity with the ophthalmic medication options available will make your clinical decision making much easier.

Included below are tables consolidating both the ophthalmic medication corticosteroids and NSAIDs available for topical ophthalmic use.

You will notice that the steroid table does not have a dosage column. This is because the recommended dosage will change dramatically dependent upon the patient’s presentation. A severe uveitis may require Pred Forte q1h, while a dry eye patient may only need Lotemax BID to QID. As a rule of thumb, QID dosing of steroids is a good starting point, but don’t be afraid to adjust that frequency based upon the case in your chair. Just remember to taper if you’re using a steroid for more than a few days!

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About Patricia Fulmer, OD

Patricia is a 2012 graduate of The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry and former AOSA National Liaison to the AAO. After graduation, she moved to Amarillo, TX, to complete her residency in Ocular Disease and Primary Care at the Thomas E. Creek VA Hospital. Patricia is the current Center Director for VisionAmerica of Huntsville, a co-management practice specializing in secondary and tertiary care, cataract surgery, strabismus, and oculoplastics in Huntsville, AL. She recently earned her Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry at the 2015 meeting in New Orleans. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, attending concerts, art, and Alabama football.