Which ones are there?
There are various cortisone preparations that are used in ophthalmology in the form of eye ointments. They contain different active ingredients, each of which can be found in different commercial preparations. The active ingredient dexamethasone, for example, is contained in Jenapharm®.
Prednisolone is the active substance contained in Ultracortenol®, for example. Betamethasone ® HEXAL was named after its active ingredient betamethasone. Fluorometholone is contained in the commercial product Efflumidex®. Hydrocortisone POS® was named after its active ingredient hydrocortisone. But Ficortril® also contains hydrocortisone.
Are these available over the counter?
There are eye ointments with cortisone that are available without a prescription. The dose in over-the-counter eye ointments with cortisone is usually low. Accordingly, both the effect and the side effects are lower. But if used for a longer period of time or incorrectly, over-the-counter eye ointments with cortisone can also cause damage. It is therefore strongly recommended to discuss the application with a doctor.
When should an eye ointment with cortisone be used?
Eye ointments with cortisone are used for allergic reactions and for allergic conjunctivitis. In addition, they are often recommended for non-infectious inflammations, such as non-infectious inflammation of the eyelids or corneal inflammation of the eye. Eye ointments with cortisone are also used for accompanying diseases, so-called immunologically caused inflammations of the eye.
In addition, they are used for some rheumatic diseases. For example, an eye ointment with cortisone can provide relief in cases of inflammation of the eye‘s iris in the context of Bekhterev’s disease. Furthermore, in some phases of a herpes disease, the use of eye ointments with cortisone in combination with other drugs may be advisable.
What is contained in the eye ointment and how does it work?
In the adrenal cortex of the body, the so-called cortisone/cortisol or hydrocortisol, among other things, is produced by the body and processed further by the body. It belongs to the so-called glucocorticoids. The effect of natural cortisol or cortisone is very weak.
Synthetically, however, it is possible to produce a medically applicable active substance by specifically modifying the substance. The synthetically produced cortisone has a broad spectrum of activity, including in ophthalmology. The effects are dose-dependent.
In eye ointments containing cortisone the base consists of hydrocarbon. In most cases, they also contain vaseline, paraffin or wool wax and different doses of cortisone. Eye ointments with cortisone have a local anti-inflammatory and allergy-inhibiting effect.
This effect is based on the fact that cortisone inhibits a certain enzyme in the body and thus stops early and late inflammatory reactions. The early reaction is understood to be all processes at cell level that lead to certain signs of inflammation. For example, these can be inflammation-induced swellings in the eye.
Late reaction is the term used to describe all processes at the cellular level that are part of the (excessive, uncontrolled) growth of vessels and cells. Eye ointments with cortisone can therefore have a soothing effect on complaints such as The anti-inflammatory effect of cortisone in eye ointments is known as antiphlogistic effect. The inhibitory effect on allergic reactions is summarised as an anti-allergic effect.
But cortisone in eye ointments also suppresses the body’s own defence system. This is known as an immunosuppressive effect. – Burning