Idoxuridine Ophthalmic for Cats
General Drug Information and Indications
How to Give this Medication
Search for Available Dosage Forms
Idoxuridine is a topical anti-viral ophthalmic drug used to treat eye problems associated with Feline Herpes Virus (FHV). FHV can cause a number of eye problems including corneal ulcers, chronic conjunctivitis, tear duct blockage or infection, keratitis, and inflammation of the anterior chamber of the eye.
Idoxuridine is very well tolerated, although your cat may need a long course of treatment. Treatment should continue for an additional week past the resolution of all clinical signs. Like many other drugs in veterinary medicine, this drug is not FDA approved for use in animals and is not available from a veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturer. Instead, it is compounded by a specialty pharmacy.
Give this medication to your pet exactly as your veterinarian prescribes. If you miss giving your pet a dose of idoxuridine, give the next dose as soon as you remember or, if it is close to the next scheduled dose, return to the regular schedule. Do not double dose to catch up.
When you first begin to treat your cat with idoxuridine, the recommended dose interval may be as frequent as every 2-3 hours. After a few days, the treatment interval may be stretched to every 5-6 hours.
Administering eye medications to animals can be a struggle and may require patience and practice. Try not to touch the tube or container tip to your cat’s eye or eyelid. It is also important to not contaminate the medication by touching the tip with your fingers or hand. Your veterinarian can help you develop a technique that will be effective and minimally stressful for both you and your cat.
If you are giving your cat more than one eye medication, try to allow at least 5 minutes between medications.
Wash your hands after giving your pet this medication.
Be sure to discuss any side effects with your veterinarian immediately.
Some local irritation of the eye is possible, but rare, with idoxuridine ophthalmic.
Systemic side effects are unlikely.
Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children. Idoxuridine is a prescription drug and should be used according to your veterinarian’s directions. It should only be given to the animal for which it was prescribed. Do not give this medication to a person.
Idoxuridine should not be used with topical ophthalmic corticosteroids in the treatment of corneal ulceration.
Be sure to review with your veterinarian any medications or supplements your pet may be receiving.
If you suspect your pet or another animal was overdosed accidentally or has eaten this medication inadvertently, contact your veterinarian or the A.S.P.C.A.’s Animal Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435. Always bring the prescription container with you when you take your pet for treatment.
If you or someone else has accidentally ingested this medication call the National Capital Poison Center at 800.222.1222.
Different strengths or dosage forms of idoxuridine may have different storage requirements. Read the labeling or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements of the prescription you receive.
About the Author
Dr. Barbara Forney is a veterinary practitioner in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She has a master's degree in animal science from the University of Delaware and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982.
She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.
Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.The information contained on this site is general in nature and is intended for use as an informational aid. It does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of the products shown, nor is the information intended as medical advice or diagnosis for individual health problems or for making an evaluation as to the risks and benefits of using a particular product. You should consult your doctor about diagnosis and treatment of any health problems. Information and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), nor has the FDA approved the products to diagnose, cure or prevent disease.
Wedgewood Pharmacy compounded veterinary preparations are not intended for use in food and food-producing animals.
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