Tobradex and Tobrex: uses, effects and price of this drug

The eyes are one of the most delicate organs in the body. They must be constantly hydrated to avoid the formation of solid waste such as lice and infections.

Conjunctivitis is one of the most common diseases that can damage the organs of vision so proper eye maintenance is needed and if I know of an infection effective treatment is needed.

Among the treatments used to treat eye infections we have Tobradex and Tobrex, two medicines whose active component is tobramycin, Which we will explain in detail in this article, its uses, effects and price.

    What are Tobradex and Tobrex?

    Tobrex is an antibiotic, used for bacterial eye infections. Its main active component is tobramycin, an antibiotic from the aminoglycoside family whose function is to inhibit protein synthesis by Gram-negative bacteria.

    Since tobramycin is a potent and fast-acting substance, drugs made from this compound are widely used in clinical practice to combat ophthalmic infections.

    It should be mentioned that one of the problems that can develop in the long term when using both Tobradex and Tobrex is that, due to the adaptive capacity of gram negative bacteria, they are resistant to tobramycin, Decreasing the effect of these drugs over time.

    The main difference between Tobradex and Tobrex is its chemical composition. Tobradex is composed of tobramycin at a concentration of 3 mg / ml and dexamethasone 1 mg / ml. Dexamethasone is a strong corticosteroid which makes Tobradex different from Tobrex since this second medicine does not contain it in its composition.

    What are they used for?

    Tobrex is mainly used to treat conjunctivitis, which is an inflammation of the connective membrane, Which is transparent and covers the eyes and part of the eyelids. The connective membrane is made up of small blood vessels that cause the eye to turn red when inflamed.

    Normally, conjunctivitis does not pose a major problem other than eye discomfort and its appearance becomes reddish, with a favorable course. Rarely does it degenerate into vision problems.

    The causes of conjunctivitis can be varied and can be allergies, pathogens such as dust mites, dust, pollen, and solid remnants of cosmetics and makeup. Another cause, which is that the products fight tobramycin, are bacteria which, along with viruses, cause one-third of diagnosed conjunctivitis.

    The Tobradex and the Tobrex they are indicated for other inflammatory processes (In addition to conjunctivitis) caused by bacteria.

      Presentation and administration

      Tobrex is marketed as eye drops by Novartis laboratories, in 5 ml vials with a tobramycin concentration of 3 mg / ml. It is administered directly to the infected eye.

      It is also marketed as an ointment, Apply to the skin near the affected eye.

      Both types of presentations can be given to children from 12 months of age.

      Tobradex is also marketed as eye drops and ointment by Novartis Laboratories. In the form of eye drops, it comes in the form of a combination of 1 mg / ml of dexamethasone and 3 mg / ml of tobramycin in a 5 ml jar. It is recommended to use the drops every 4 or 6 hours. Tobradex in the form of an ointment can be combined with eye drops, using drops during the day and ointment before bedtime.


      For minor issues, apply one or two drops of Tobrex eye drops to the affected eye, every four hours. If the condition is more severe, it is recommended to apply two drops of eye drops every hour and not to interrupt the treatment, but to prolong the applications until you have finished the treatment.

      To prevent the infection from getting worse, it is recommended that you wash your hands thoroughly before using the eye drops, store it in a cool, clean place, and avoid touching other medicines. The drops should fall into the space between the eyeball and the eyelid.

      In the case of Tobrex ointment, it is recommended to apply 1 cubic centimeter of ointment. in the infected eye two or three times a day in case it is mild. If the infection is severe, it is recommended to do this every three or four hours. The cream should fall into the space between the lower eyelid and the diseased eye.

      Between eye drops and ointment, it should be noted that the second is the one that causes the least absorption of tobramycin, since it is applied to the cornea and the connective membrane, two parts with low absorption capacity.

      Action mechanism

      In the case of Tobradex, being a combination of tobramycin and dexamethasone, the mechanism of action involves the combination of a corticosteroid that inhibits the inflammatory response with an aminoglycoside antibiotic of great power and a wide spectrum of intervention. These substances act on bacterial cells, inhibiting protein synthesis.

      Side effects

      Tobrex can cause as main side effects itching, tearing, redness of the eye. Swelling of the conjunctiva and eyelid and hypersensitivity may also occur.

      In the case of Tobradex, there may be, in addition to the effects of Tobradex, conjunctival erythema and glaucoma. With prolonged use, increased pressure in the eye, burns, burns, blurred vision, optic nerve damage, secondary eye infections and cataracts may occur.


      In pregnant and breastfeeding women it is recommended to assess the benefit / risk ratio before starting treatment with tobramycin.

      In the Tobrex and Tobradex treatments, it is recommended to avoid the use of contact lenses during application and to wait about 20 minutes before replacing them. It should be noted that due to conjunctivitis the eye is more sensitive and more vulnerable to other infections, it is recommended to avoid the use of contact lenses.

      It is not recommended to handle heavy machinery or drive vehicles then apply eye drops.

      Its use is not recommended in case you are suffering from any type of medical condition in which there is thinning of the cornea and sclerotia.

      Tobrex and Tobradex price

      In Spain, the selling prices to the public of products made from tobramycin it’s quite affordable.

      Tobrex ointment is sold in 3.5 gr tubes and costs € 2.50. In the form of eye drops, it costs around € 1.81.

      Other products with the same active ingredient, such as Tobrabact and Tobrexan, sold as eye drops, have similar prices.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Palomino, J. and Pachón, J. (2003). Aminoglycosides. Clinical Microbiology of Infectious Diseases, 21 (2): 105-114.
      • Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (2005). Summary of product characteristics TOBREX eye ointment 3 mg / g Ophthalmic ointment. Available at
      • Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products. (2005). TOBREX ophthalmic 3 mg / ml, eye drops in solution. Vade mecum. Available at
      • Vademecum (2018). TOBREX Eye drops, solution 3 mg / ml. Vade mecum. Available at
      • Vademecum (2018). TOBRADEX Eye drops, suspension 1 mg / ml + 3 mg / ml. Vade mecum. Available at
      • Vademecum (2018). TOBRADEX eye ointment. Vade mecum. Available at

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