March 21, 2017

Vidarabine eye ointment

What is vidarabine eye ointment?

VIDARABINE (Vira-A®) is an antiviral agent. As an eye ointment it is effective in the treatment of herpes eye infections. Generic vidarabine eye ointment is not available.

What should my health care professional know before I use vidarabine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to vidarabine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Vidarabine eye ointment is only for use in the eye. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash hands before and after use. Tilt your head back slightly and pull your lower eyelid down with your index finger to form a pouch. Try not to touch the tip of the tube, to your eye, fingertips, or any other surface. Squeeze the end of the tube to apply a thin layer of the ointment to the inside of the lower eyelid. Close the eye gently to spread the ointment. Your vision may blur for a few minutes. Use your doses at regular intervals. Do not use your medicine more often than directed. Finish the full course prescribed by your prescriber or health care professional even if you think your condition is better.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with vidarabine?

  • corticosteroid eye ointments (such as prednisolone, dexamethasone)

Do not use any other eye products without telling your prescriber or health care professional. Check before starting or stopping any of your medicines or non-prescription products.

What should I watch for while taking vidarabine?

Tell your prescriber or health care professional if your symptoms worsen or do not improve within a few days. Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. This medicine is not intended for long-term use because it can cause permanent damage to the cornea (the front of the eye). Do not use for more than 3 weeks.

Wear sunglasses if eyes become sensitive to light.

What side effects may I notice from using vidarabine?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • burning, stinging, or itching of the eyes or eyelids

  • eye pain

  • increased sensitivity of the eyes to light

  • swollen eyelids

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • excess of tears

  • feeling as if there is something in the eye

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.


March 21, 2017


U.S. FDA-approved Package Insert