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Otomax Ointment

Otomax Ointment by Merck Animal Health

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Generic Name:

Gentamicin sulfate + Betamethasone valerate + Clotrimazole Ointment

General Description:

This ear medication contains an antibacterial, an anti-inflammatory and an antifungal. It is useful for treating acute or chronic canine otitis externa (outer ear infections) when caused by yeast or bacteria susceptible to gentamicin.

What is this drug?
  • A combination of an aminoglycoside antibiotic (gentamicin sulfate), an adrenocorticoid (betamethasone) and an antifungal agent (clotrimazole)
  • Used in dogs' ears
Reasons for prescribing:
  • For the treatment of dogs with acute or chronic otitis externa associated with yeast and/or bacteria sensitive to gentamicin
  • To reduce the discomfort, redness, swelling, crusty material and odor associated with ear inflammations and infections
What pets should not use this medication?
  • This product is approved for use in dogs, but veterinarians often use it in other species
  • Pets with a ruptured ear drum
  • Do not use this product if your pet is pregnant
  • Animals who require hearing to perform their work (military, police or service dogs)
  • If your pet has had an allergic reaction to any of the 3 ingredients or to similar products

Read and follow the label carefully.

Your veterinarian will need to examine the ears to ensure that the ear drum(s) is/are intact.

Your veterinarian may want to perform a culture evaluation of the ear prior to starting this medication.

The external ear should be thoroughly cleaned and dried before treatment. Excessive hair should be trimmed from the treatment area. Have your veterinarian or veterinary technician show you how to properly clean your dog's ears and apply this product.

Instill the exact amount as prescribed into affected ear(s) and only as often as directed. Massage the external ear canal carefully to ensure adequate medication distribution.

Therapy is usually for 7 consecutive days only.

Give this medication as directed by your veterinarian to prevent recurring infections and ear damage. Do not skip doses or stop giving the medication without consulting your veterinarian.

What if a dose is missed?

If a treatment is missed, perform it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next treatment, skip the missed treatment and go back to the normal schedule.

What to tell/ask a veterinarian before giving medication?

Talk to your veterinarian about:

  • When will your pet need to be rechecked
  • What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
  • What are the risks and benefits of using this drug

Tell your veterinarian about:

  • If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
  • If your pet has any hearing loss
  • If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
  • All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet's medicines can be given together.
  • If your pet is pregnant, nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
Storage and Warnings:

Store between 2° and 25°C (36° and 77°F). 

Do not allow your pet to ingest this product. Avoid getting it in your pet's eyes.

Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.

Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.

Potential side effects:
  • Deafness or partial hearing loss (usually temporary) has been reported in a small number of older sensitive dogs. If hearing loss, head tilt or dizziness are noted, discontinue use of this product immediately, flush with a gentle cleaner and contact your veterinarian.
  • All aminoglycosides have the potential to produce reversible and irreversible vestibular, cochlear and renal toxicity. Gentamicin can also cause birth defects during the first phase of pregnancy.
  • Cushing's syndrome, delayed wound healing and immunosuppression have been reported in patients with prolonged or repeated steroid therapy.
  • If ingested, side effects of corticosteroids include: increased thirst and urination, increased appetite and weight gain, panting, diarrhea, vomiting and behavior changes.
  • Gentamicin can cause premature birth in pregnant animals. Corticosteroids can cause birth defects during the first phase of pregnancy.
  • Clinical and safety studies have shown a wide safety margin when this product is used at recommended dose levels in dogs.
Can this drug be given with other drugs?
  • Yes, but do not give or use other corticosteroids or aminogylcoside antibiotics during treatment with this medication unless prescribed by your veterinarian.
  • If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, discontinue use and contact your veterinarian.

Early signs of overdose or toxicity include loss of hearing or balance or vomiting. If you see these signs, know or suspect an overdose, contact your veterinarian immediately.

What else should I know?

Notify your veterinarian if your animal's condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.

As with all prescribed medicines, Gentamicin sulfate + Betamethasone valerate + Clotrimazole Ointment should only be used on the pet for which it was prescribed.

It should also only be used for the condition for which it was prescribed.

Ear Products
(Gentocin Otic, Otomax, Mometomax)

Generic Name
Gentamicin with corticosteroid
Generic products are available

Common Brand Names
Betagen Otic: gentamicin and betamethasone
Products with additional ingredients Otomax, Malotic: Gentamicin and betamethasone with clotrimazole Mometomax: Gentamicin and mometasone with clomitrazole

Store at room temperature.

Gentamicin is an antibiotic of the amino-glycoside class. Betamethasone is a corticosteroid. The combination is ap­proved for the treatment of inflammation and bacterial infections of the ear. Products with clotrimazole are also effective against fungal (yeast) infections of the ear. 

Dose and Administration
Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. If you have difficulty applying the medication, contact your veterinarian.
The ear should be thoroughly cleaned and dried before treatment. Remove any debris, crusty material, etc., with a suitable non-irritating ear cleaning solution. Clip any excessive hair from the ear or treatment area, as directed. 
Apply the prescribed amount in the ear and gently massage the ear to distribute the medication.
If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the application you missed and go back to the regular schedule. 
This medication should only be given to the pet for whom it was prescribed.

Possible Side Effects
May see loss of hearing or balance. If so, contact your veterinarian. These effects are usually temporary.
If ingested, the most common side effect of corticosteroids is an increase in the amount of drinking and urinating. Less commonly may see an increased appetite and weight gain, panting, diarrhea, vomiting, and behavior changes. 
Contact your veterinarian if side effects are noticed or if the condition worsens.
If your pet experiences an allergic reaction to the medication, signs may include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or coma. If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Do not use in animals hypersensitive (allergic) to any of the ingredients.
Avoid contact with the eyes.
Prevent ingestion of the medication. If ingested at high doses or for extended periods, corticosteroids can cause premature birth especially toward the end of pregnancy. In dogs, rabbits, and rodents, corticosteroids can cause birth defects.
Do not use in animals who require their hearing to perform their work (military dogs, police dogs, seeing eye dogs, hearing dogs, etc.) as the hearing or vestibular (balance) impairment may not be reversible.
A veterinary exam of the ear is necessary prior to using this product. It should not be used in animals with a perforated eardrum.
Corticosteroids, if given at high doses or for extended periods, can cause delayed wound healing and immunosuppression resulting in an increased risk of bacterial or fungal infections.

Drug and Food Interactions
Notify your veterinarian of any other medications, including vitamins and supplements, your pet is taking while your pet is receiving gentamicin.
If ingested, there is an increased risk of stomach ulcers when corticosteroids are used with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, carprofen (Rimadyl), deracoxib (Deramaxx), or etodolac (EtoGesic).
Do not administer other corticosteroids during treatment with this medication.
Do not use in combination with other aminoglycosides, such as neomycin.

Signs of Toxicity/Overdose
Early signs of toxicity include loss of hearing and balance or vomiting. Contact your veterinarian if you see these signs.
Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.


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