How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Bromfenac belongs to the class of medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This medication is used to treat inflammation and reduce eye pain for people who have just had cataract surgery.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each mL of topical ophthalmic solution contains 0.805 mg of bromfenac sodium sesquihydrate, equivalent to 0.7 mg of bromfenac free acid. Nonmedicinal ingredients: boric acid, EDTA dihydrate, povidone, sodium borate, sodium sulfite, tyloxapol, sodium hydroxide to adjust pH, benzalkonium chloride 0.005% (as preservative), and water for injection (or purified water).

How should I use this medication?

The recommended adult dose of bromfenac eye drops is 1 drop into the affected eye daily. Treatment should begin the day before cataract surgery, continued on the day of surgery and for 14 days after surgery.

If you use other eye drops as well, wait at least 5 minutes between using this medication and the other drops. It is very important to avoid touching the dropper tip to any surface, skin, or your eye. This contamination can result in a bacterial infection. Report any signs of an eye infection (e.g., redness, irritation, pain) to your doctor immediately.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children. Safely discard any remaining medication 28 days after opening the bottle.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use this medication if you:

  • are allergic to bromfenac or any ingredients of the medication
  • are allergic or sensitive to other NSAIDs (e.g., naproxen, acetylsalicylic acid [ASA], diclofenac)

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor. The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • eye inflammation
  • eye pain
  • feeling of something in your eye

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • signs of macular edema (swelling and fluid build-up in the centre of the retina, blurry vision, blurry or wavy vision near or in the centre of the field of vision, faded colours)
  • signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Allergies: If you have had an asthma attack, severe itching, or other allergic reactions after taking acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen) you may also be allergic to bromfenac eye drops. Let your ophthalmologist and surgeon know if you may be allergic to ASA or other NSAIDs.

Contact lenses: The preservative in these eye drops may be absorbed by certain contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, remove your contact lenses before using these eye drops. You can put your contact lenses back in after 15 minutes.

Bleeding: If you are having surgery and bleed easily or are taking medications that prolong bleeding (e.g., warfarin), discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Blurred vision: This medication may temporarily cause blurred vision. Do not drive or operate machinery until your vision has cleared.

Rarely, fluid may build up in the part of your eye called the macula, which is part of the retina. If you experience blurred or wavy vision after stopping the eye drops, contact your eye doctor as soon as possible.

Inflammation of the cornea: As with other anti-inflammatory eye drops, bromfenac can cause irritation and damage to the cornea (keratitis). In severe cases, this can lead to permanent vision problems or blindness. If you experience unusual pain, the sensation of something in your eye, unusual sensitivity to sunlight or other changes to your eye, contact your doctor immediately.

This may be more likely to occur if you have diabetes, other eye conditions such as dry eye syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, or repeat eye surgeries during short period of time.

Wound healing: Bromfenac eye drops may slow or delay the healing of wounds. The risk of delayed healing increases if you have complicated eye surgeries, disorders of the cornea, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or several eye surgeries in a short time. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if bromfenac passes into breast milk. If you are breast-feeding and taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

For a full list of interactions, use the Drug Interaction Checker available on the website.

If you are taking other medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

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