FML eye drops are a corticosteroid medication that treats eye redness, itching, and swelling that’s caused by an eye injury or other physical irritant. In some cases, doctors also prescribe this medicine for eye irritation caused by allergies. FML eye drops contain the active ingredient fluorometholone. Other forms of this medicine are also called FML Forte, Fluor-OP, FML SOP, and Flarex. There is a generic version of FML available called fluorometholone. This medicine is only available by prescription.

How Do FML Eye Drops Work?

Fluorometholone is a type of medicine called a corticosteroid. This family of drugs includes artificial versions of steroids, hormones your body naturally produces. Corticosteroids are different from anabolic steroids that athletes and bodybuilders might use to increase their muscle capacity. Instead, corticosteroids function as messenger molecules. They trigger parts of your body to take action, or to stop taking action. This mimics how natural steroid hormones work in your body.

Your body’s hormones can do many different things. Corticosteroids specifically reduce inflammation and reduce immune responses. Inflammation is a response to injury or illness. Typically it’s a beneficial response. However, too much inflammation can cause serious side effects. FML eye drops reduce the immune response caused by eye irritation.

FML Eye Drops Precautions and Warnings

You shouldn’t use FML eye drops if you’re allergic to fluorometholone or any of its inactive ingredients. Additionally, you should tell your doctor if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to another corticosteroid. Fluorometholone could cause a similar reaction even though it’s a different medication.

FML and other eye drops can cause temporary blurry vision after application. Let your vision fully clear before you drive or use heavy machinery.

You should tell your doctor about your full medical history and all the medicine you take before using FML eye drops. It’s especially important to mention any eye surgeries, laser vision procedures, or recent eye infections. Your doctor may also ask about your family history of eye problems including cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetes. FML eye drops reduce your eyes’ immune responses so it’s important to give your doctor a full description of your situation.

Most people who wear contact lenses can also use FML eye drops. Make sure to tell your doctor you wear contacts before starting this medicine to make sure it’s safe for you. Don’t apply eye drops with your contacts in place. You should wait at least 15 minutes after applying the drops before putting in your contacts.

Side Effects of FML Eye Drops

FML eye drops have relatively few side effects. Since this medicine is applied directly to the eyes, it rarely affects the rest of your body. Most fluorometholone side effects involve the eyes, eyelids, or surrounding skin on the face. These side effects tend to be mild and temporary. FML eye drop side effects include:

  • Stinging
  • Burning
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye discharge
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Pain
  • Lasting blurry vision or vision changes

Allergic Reactions

It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction to fluorometholone. Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Face, throat, or neck swelling
  • Rash
  • Side effects not located in the eyes

Drug Interactions with FML Eye Drops

FML eye drops don’t interact with many drugs since they are only applied to the eyes. Oral and topical medication are metabolized in different parts of the body from eye drops, so interactions are rare. However, drug interactions are still possible. Let your doctor know about all your medications before using FML eye drops.

FML eye drops are most likely to interfere with other eye medicines. This includes other eye drops, ointments, and contact lens solutions. It can also interact with skin care products applied in the eye region. Ask your doctor if it’s safe to use these products while you’re taking FML eye drops.

Strengths and Dosages of FML Eye Drops

FML eye drops contain 0.1% fluorometholone. Fluorometholone is also available at other strengths in other medications. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may instruct you to use FML eye drops more frequently during the first day or two of your prescription. This higher dosage should offer faster results.

NameStrengthTypical Dosing InstructionsFirst 24-48 Hour Instructions
FML Eye Drops0.1% fluorometholone1 drop per eye, 2-4 times daily1 drop per eye, every 4 hours
Generic flurorometholone eye drops0.1% fluorometholone1 drop per eye, 2-4 times daily1 drop per eye, every 4 hours
FML Forte0.25% fluorometholone1 drop per eye, 2-4 times daily1 drop per eye, every 4 hours
Flarex0.1% fluorometholone1-2 drops per eye, 4 times daily2 drops per eye, every 2 hours

Cost of FML Eye Drops in America

A 5ml bottle of 0.1% FML eye drops costs around $200. Insurance coverage, coupons, discounts, and patient assistance programs can reduce the brand-name medication cost to around $180. The generic version of fluorometholone eye drops is typically around $90. Generic fluorometholone eye drops can cost around $30 with a combination of insurance benefits, discounts, and assistance programs.

Alternatives to FML Eye Drops

Yes, there are other options besides FML eye drops for treating eye inflammation. Other corticosteroids for eye inflammation include:


Why did my doctor prescribe FML Eye Drops?

FML eye drops are a corticosteroid that reduces swelling and inflammation in the eye. This medicine is typically used if you’ve had an eye injury or some kind of physical irritation. FML eye drops are not usually prescribed for eye problems caused by allergies.

How do I give myself FML Eye Drops?

It can be hard to give yourself eye drops, especially if you’ve never done it before. The eyes are a very sensitive part of the body and it’s normal for applying eye drops to be a challenge. This is especially true if your eyes are also irritated or injured. However, you can learn to give yourself eye drops with some practice.

Start by washing your hands and removing your contacts, if applicable. Open the FML eye drop bottle. Tilt your head backward and pull your bottom eyelid down slightly. This will create a small “pocket” under your eye. Hold the eye dropper above your eye and gently squeeze a drop into the pocket. Close your eye for a minute to let the medicine absorb. Then repeat with the other eye.

How should I store FML eye drops?

Store your eye drops at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Don’t let the tip of the eyedropper touch anything, especially your hands, fingers, or eyes. Ask your doctor or pharmacist what to do if the eyedropper touches something.

How do I know if my eye drops are still good?

Don’t use the medicine if it looks cloudy, changes color, or develops an unpleasant smell. Use your medication as directed before the expiration date.

Can I use FML eye drops if I wear contacts?

Yes, FML contacts can be safe to use with contacts. Don’t apply eye drops while your contacts are in. Instead, take out your contacts before using FML eye drops. Wait at least 15 minutes after applying your eye drops before putting your contacts back in.

Ask your doctor if you should keep wearing contacts while using FML eye drops. This medication is usually prescribed to treat eye damage, injury, or physical irritation. Wearing contacts could prolong your healing process even if FML eye drops are used correctly.

Do FML eye drops help with allergies?

FML eye drops treat eye irritation by reducing swelling and inflammation from physical irritation. In most cases, allergic eye irritation is caused by an overactive immune response. Antihistamine medications reduce this immune response so they are the usual first treatment for allergies.

However, your doctor may prescribe FML eye drops or another corticosteroid for allergies in some cases. Some people have strong enough allergic symptoms that they lead to physical irritation as well. For example, it’s possible to injure your eyes by rubbing them too much due to allergic symptoms. Doctors may combine FML eye drops with antihistamines in these situations.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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