c. Ointments. Ophthalmic ointments must be sterile and free from large
particles that irritate the eye.
PREPARATION OF OPHTHALMIC SOLUTIONS
Ophthalmic solutions are infrequently prepared in the pharmacy. When an
ophthalmic solution is extemporaneously prepared, care must be taken to ensure that
the preparation will benefit the patient. The following considerations are important when
such a solution is being compounded.
a. Prescribed Drug Present. As with all pharmaceutical preparations, it is
imperative that the ophthalmic solution contains the drug that is prescribed by the
physician. Care must be taken to ensure that glassware used to compound the
ophthalmic solution is not contaminated with other drugs. Why is this so important? As
you probably know, certain drugs are used to treat glaucoma. If a drug that is
contraindicated in glaucoma is administered to a patient who has glaucoma, damage to
the patient's eyes could occur.
b. Solution Sterile. Certain bacteria can cause severe damage if they are
instilled into the eye. Care must be taken to ensure that extemporaneously prepared
ophthalmic solutions are sterile. Further, the sterile ophthalmic solution must be
dispensed in a sterile container. Extemporaneously prepared ophthalmic solutions can
be sterilized with a 0.22-micrometer membrane filter. Aseptic procedures must be used
during this sterilization process.
c. Solution Free from Visible Particles. The ophthalmic solution must be free
from visible particles. Remember that these visible particles could cause severe
irritation if they were to be instilled into the eye. It is recommended that ophthalmic
solutions be prepared in a laminar air-flow (LAF) hood, since the LAF hood provides an
area that is practically free from visible particles.
d. Solution Isotonic (if possible). In order to reduce tissue irritation, the
ophthalmic solution should be made isotonic. In some cases, the concentration of the
medication in the ophthalmic solution prevents the solution from being made isotonic
(for example, the prepared solution is hypertonic).