What Is It?: Tacrolimus is a medication able to locally suppress immunity. This product has recently gained popularity in human medication as a topical anti-inflammatory treatment that is cortisone-free. It does not come in a formulation appropriate for eyes but can be made into one by a compounding pharmacy. It is used in a manner similar to cyclosporine and is generally of similar cost.
Tacrolimus Ophthalmic is used to improve dry eye problems in dogs (keratoconjunctivitis sicca.) It stimulates increased tear production. The reported success rate is greater than 75% .
Dosage: Tacrolimus Ophthalmic is available as an eye DROP and as an OINTMENT. It is commonly applied two to three times daily. Drops should be instilled into the corner of the eye, near the tear duct. Do not drop them directly onto the center of the eye. The ointment should be applied as a “ribbon” inside the lower eyelid.
Tacrolimus Ophthalmic may be prescribed along with other eye preparations, such as artificial tears. These tears can wash the Tacrolimus out of the eye. Therefore, if you have more than one preparation, apply the Tacrolimus Ophthalmic last. Also, don’t apply other eye products for at least 20 minutes after applying the Tacrolimus Ophthalmic.
Storage: Tacrolimus should be stored in a tight, light resistant, childproof container away from children.
Note: If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with the regular schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed one.