Fluorometholone | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

fluorometholone, Ophthalmic suspension

All Brands

  • Eflone (Discontinued)
  • Fluor-Op (Discontinued)
  • FML
  • FML Forte
  • Flarex
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for fluorometholone

Ophthalmic suspension
1

Fluorometholone is used to treat certain eye conditions caused by inflammation or injury.

2

This drug comes in the forms of an ophthalmic (related to the eye) suspension and an ophthalmic ointment.

3

Fluorometholone is available as the brand-name drugs called FML, FML Forte, and Flarex. It isn’t available as a generic drug.

4

More common side effects of taking this drug include pressure in your eye. Some people also have blurry vision, tearing, itchy eyes, and burning in the eye.

5

In some cases, fluorometholone may cause serious side effects. This includes increased pressure within your eyes. This can cause glaucoma, cataracts, and vision problems. Your doctor may check your eye pressure while you take this drug.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Eye effects

Using this drug long-term can raise your risk of increased pressure within your eyes. This can sometimes lead to glaucoma, cataracts, and vision problems. Your doctor may check your eye pressure while you take this drug.

Infection

If you get an eye infection, fluorometholone may make this infection more severe or last longer.

What is fluorometholone?

Fluorometholone is a prescription drug. It’s available in these forms: ophthalmic ointment and ophthalmic suspension. 

Fluorometholone isn’t available as a generic drug. It’s only available as the brand-name drugs FML, FML Forte, and Flarex.

Why it's used

Fluorometholone is used to treat certain eye conditions caused by inflammation or injury.

How it works

Fluorometholone belongs to a class of drugs called ophthalmic corticosteroids.

More Details

How it works

Fluorometholone belongs to a class of drugs called ophthalmic corticosteroids. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

It isn’t known exactly how fluorometholone works. It’s thought that this drug improves certain eye conditions by reducing inflammation.

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SECTION 2 of 5

fluorometholone Side Effects

Ophthalmic suspension

More Common Side Effects

Some of the more common side effects of fluorometholone include:

  • increased pressure in your eye

  • allergic reactions

  • feeling like you have something in your eye

  • burning, stinging, or itchy eyes

  • redness of your eyelid

  • eye or eyelid swelling

  • eye discharge

  • increased tears

  • skin rash

  • changes in how foods taste

  • eye pain

  • blurry vision

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

  • Eye pain and inflammation. If this lasts longer than 48 hours or becomes worse, stop using this drug and call your doctor right away.

  • Increased eye pressure. Using this drug long-term can lead to glaucoma, cataracts, and vision problems. Symptoms include:

    • problems with vision
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Fluorometholone doesn’t cause drowsiness. 

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

fluorometholone May Interact with Other Medications

Ophthalmic suspension

An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. To help prevent interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. 

To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

There are no known drug interactions with ophthalmic fluorometholone.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Fluorometholone warnings
cataract surgery
People with plans to have cataract surgery

Fluorometholone may delay your healing after cataract surgery.

eye infections
People with eye infections

Fluorometholone may mask the symptoms of certain eye infections. It may also make eye infections more severe. You shouldn’t use this drug if you have an eye infection.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

Fluorometholone is a pregnancy category C drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus. 

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It is not known if fluorometholone passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed. 

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your baby. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

children
For children

Fluorometholone hasn’t been studied and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 2 years of age. The brand Flarex hasn’t been studied in children younger than 18 years of age.

call the doctor
When to call the doctor

If your pain and inflammation don’t get better or get worse after 2 days of using fluorometholone, call your doctor and stop using it right away.

allergies
Allergies

Fluorometholone can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • redness and swelling of your eyelid
  • burning or itching of your eye

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it before. Taking it again could be fatal.

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How to Take fluorometholone (Dosage)

Ophthalmic suspension

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Inflammation or injury of the eye

Brand: FML

Form: ophthalmic suspension 0.1%
Form: ophthalmic ointment 0.1%

Brand: FML Forte

Form: ophthalmic suspension 0.25%

Brand: Flarex

Form: ophthalmic suspension 0.1%
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • Ophthalmic suspension: The recommended dose is one drop into the inside of your eyelids (conjunctival sac) 2–4 times per day. After 24–48 hours, your doctor may increase your dose to one drop every 4 hours. For the brand Flarex, the recommended dose is 1–2 drops into your conjunctival sac four times per day. After 24–48 hours, your doctor may increase your dose to 2 drops every 2 hours.
  • Ophthalmic ointment: The recommended dose is a small amount (approximately a ½ inch ribbon) applied to your conjunctival sac 1–3 times per day. After 24–48 hours, your doctor may increase your dose to one application given every 4 hours.
Child dosage (ages 2–17 years)
  • Ophthalmic suspension: The recommended dose is one drop into the inside of your eyelids (conjunctival sac) 2–4 times per day. After 24–48 hours, your doctor may increase your dose to one drop every 4 hours. The brand Flarex hasn’t been studied in children.
  • Ophthalmic ointment: The recommended dose is a small amount (approximately a ½ inch ribbon) applied to your conjunctival sac 1–3 times per day. After 24–48 hours, your doctor may increase your dose to one application given every 4 hours.
Special considerations

People who wear soft contact lenses: If you wear soft contact lenses, wait at least 15 minutes after administering fluorometholone into your eye before inserting your contact lenses. Fluorometholone suspension contains a preservative (benzalkonium chloride) that may be absorbed by soft contact lenses.

Warnings

If you’re using fluorometholone for a long period of time, your doctor may slowly reduce your dose of this medication. This is done to reduce your chance of having a flare-up of your eye condition.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Fluorometholone comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug or don’t take it at all

If you don’t take fluorometholone, your eye pain and inflammation won’t improve and may get worse.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your eye at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of this drug in your eye. This could increase the pressure in your eye and lead to vision loss, cataracts, or glaucoma.

If you think you’ve taken too much of the drug, act right away. Call your doctor or local poison control center, or go to the nearest emergency room.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

You should have less pain and inflammation in your eye if fluorometholone is working.

Fluorometholone is usually a short-term drug treatment.

Store fluorometholone carefully

  • Store fluorometholone suspension at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Keep it from 36ºF to 77ºF (2ºC to 25ºC).
  • Store fluorometholone ointment at room temperature. Keep it from 59ºF to 77ºF (15ºC  to 25ºC). Avoid exposing the ointment to temperatures above 104ºF (40ºC).
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Self-management

Your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist will show you how to give yourself the suspension or ointment.

Make sure you shake the ophthalmic suspension well before using it.

Clinical monitoring

You may have your inner eye pressure monitored if you use this drug long-term. This is to check that your eye pressure stays in the normal range.

This monitoring may be done using a tonometry test, which measures the pressure inside your eye.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

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How Much Does fluorometholone Cost?

Ophthalmic suspension

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Lowest price for fluorometholone

CVS Pharmacy $11.43
Walmart $21.83
Walgreens $34.06
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for fluorometholone on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for fluorometholone on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on October 9, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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