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How to use your ear drops

Advice for patients on how to use ear drops correctly.

  1. Read the instructions on the label and treat only the ear stated. If you are given a different bottle for each ear, make sure you use the correct bottle. You may need someone to help you to put your drops in.
  2. Wash and dry your hands.
  3. Shake the bottle.
  4. Stand or sit comfortably, in front of a mirror may help. Alternatively lay down flat, on a bed for example.
  5. Remove the cap from the bottle.
  6. Tilt your head to the side, with the ear being treated facing up.
  7. Squeeze the bottle until the prescribed number of drops, usually THREE to FIVE, fall into the ear opening. Do not let the tip of the bottle touch any part of your ear. You may need somebody to help you with this.
  8. Stay with your head tilted to the side for at least a couple of minutes to allow the drops to spread right into the ear canal and reduce the likelihood of the drops leaking out of the ear.
  9. Sit up slowly. Replace the cap on the bottle.
  10. Repeat the process in the other ear if necessary.

If the medicine leaks from the ear as you sit up, you can wipe it away with a clean tissue. Cotton wool should not normally be placed into, or at the entrance to the ear.

Always keep the bottle tightly closed and store in a cool place, or as directed on the label.

Once opened, most ear drops should be discarded a maximum of ONE month after opening. Check the label on the bottle or ask your pharmacist.

Who can I contact if I have any more questions?

If you have any further questions about your medicines contact the Patient Medicines Helpline within the Medicines Resource Centre on 01296 838220.

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 9-4pm.