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Optimmune Ophthalmic Ointment for Dogs

  • 3.5g Tube £31.49

Optimmune is an eye ointment containing cyclosporin and is used to treat recurrent conjunctivitis resulting from autoimmune disease of the eye in dogs. These include Dry Eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS) and Pannus (chronic superficial keratits). Ointment should be used twice daily and is usually required life-long. Cases of Dry Eye will usually respond with increased tear production after about 10 days, but it can take 6 weeks for the full effect to be achieved. Pannus might not need treatment all year round because it is partly triggered by UV light. Antibiotic or steroid drops are sometimes used with Optimmune. It is important to try and maintain treatment without a pause, to prevent progression of the underlying diseases.

Qualitative and quantitative composition

Active Ingredient

Ciclosporin 2.0 mg/g

Pharmaceutical form

Eye Ointment

A translucent colourless to light yellow ointment.

Clinical particulars

Target species


Indications for use

For the treatment of chronic, recurrent conjunctivitis resulting from autoimmune disease of the eye. Indicated for the therapeutic treatment of Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS, ‘dry eye’) and chronic superficial keratitis (‘pannus’) in the dog.

May be used to augment topical corticosteroids or as a substitute for corticosteroids when these are contraindicated by corneal ulceration.


Do not use where fungal or viral infection of the eye is suspected.

Special warnings for each target species

Clinical experience has shown than 90% of dogs affected with KCS will require life-long therapy. However, if therapy is maintained, the prognosis is good providing that regular clinical assessment is conducted.

Similarly, chronic superficial keratitis may require continuous therapy although, as the condition is exacerbated by ultraviolet light, requirement for treatment may be suspended or reduced at certain times of the year.

In the treatment of KCS, it is important that continuous treatment is maintained. Studies have shown that stimulation of tear production ceases within 24 hours of withdrawing treatment.

Increase in tear production is expected within 10 days but may not be maximal until 6 weeks from commencement of treatment.

Special precautions for use

For external topical use only.

Care should be taken to avoid contamination of the contents during use.

Replace cap between applications.

User warnings

Avoid contact with skin.

Wear gloves when applying the ointment

Wash hands after use.

Adverse reactions

Mild irritation in the first few days of therapy may occur. If such irritation persists, treatment should be discontinued.

Inflammation and swelling of the skin of the lids has been reported in a very few cases. This seems to be associated with overflow of excess ointment. Reduction of the quantity of ointment has resulted in resolution.

Use during pregnancy or lactation

Do not administer to pregnant bitches.

Studies to demonstrate safety in pregnant bitches have not been conducted.


None known.

Amounts to be administered and administration route

For topical administration to the conjunctival sac.

Apply a small amount of ointment (approximately ¼ inch or ½ cm) into the affected eye(s) every 12 hours.

Any excessive discharge in the eye should be removed prior to application of the ointment by gently cleansing or flushing the eye with a suitable non-irritating solution.


Inflammation and swelling of the skin of the lids has been reported in a very few cases. This seems to be associated with overflow of excess ointment. Reduction of the quantity of ointment has resulted in resolution.

For animal treatment only. Keep out of the reach and sight of children.

Withdrawal periods


Pharmacological particulars

ATC Vet Code: QS01XA18

Pharmacotherapeutic group: Ophthalmologicals, other opthalmologicals

Optimmune is a pharmaceutically stable sterile ointment containing 0.2% Ciclosporin A. Administration of the ointment improves chronic diseases of the cornea and conjunctiva resulting from autoimmune disease such as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS, dry eye), chronic superifical keratitis (pannus), and plasmacytic infiltration of the nictitans (‘plasmoma’) in dogs. To be applied topically to each affected eye.

Ciclosporin A is an immunomodulator nonpolar cyclic oligopeptide with lacrimominetic and anti-inflammatory activities. It is produced by the fungus species Tolypocladium inflatum gans. It is a highly lipophilic drug and is absorbed into the cornea in high concentrations. Ciclosporin A also penetrates the lacrimal gland following administration.

Ciclosporin A exerts its immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting the production of cytokines which up-regulate T-helper cell activity. This restores the function of lacrimal acinar epithelium under autoimmune attack and reduces infiltration of ocular tissues by inflammatory cells. In addition to its immunosuppressive activity, Ciclosporin A exerts a direct lacrimomimetic effect by blocking the inhibition of tear production by prolactin.

Optimmune thus increases the flow of tears identical to natural tear secretions. As well as lubrication and wetting, epithelial growth factors and other components of tears are necessary for maintenance of corneal health. Studies have demonstrated that long term use of Optimmune does not increase susceptibility of the eye to microbial infection.

Pharmaceutical particulars


Petrolatum Lanolin Alcohol

Maize Oil

Paraffin, White Soft

Major incompatibilities

None known.

Shelf life

Shelf-life of the veterinary medicinal product as packaged for sale: 2 years.

Shelf-life after first opening the immediate packaging: 1 month.

Special precautions for storage

Do not store above 25°C. Do not freeze.

Any contents remaining one month after the date on which the container was first opened should be discarded.

Care should be taken to avoid contamination of the contents during use.

Replace cap between applications.

Immediate packaging

Pack size: 3.5g tube in a cardboard carton

Container:Epoxy-phenol lacquered aluminium aluminium tube with high density polyethylene nozzle

Closure:Tamper-evident high density polyethylene cap, screw fit.


Any unused veterinary medicinal product or waste materials derived from such veterinary medicinal products should be disposed in accordance with local requirements.

Marketing authorisation number

Vm 01708/4589.

Date of the first authorisation or date of renewal

9th June 1994

Date of revision of the text

August 2012.

Any other information


Legal category


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Reviews of Optimmune Ophthalmic Ointment for Dogs

Read our customers' reviews of Optimmune Ophthalmic Ointment for Dogs

Questions & Answers for Optimmune Ophthalmic Ointment for Dogs

Below are some recent questions we've received regarding Optimmune Ophthalmic Ointment for Dogs, including answers from our team.

Ask Your Own Question

Why is this so expensive?

23rd Nov 2017

My dog has been diagnosed with dry eye and I bought this medication from the vet costing £60.84. He will need this long term.

  • Product Developer

Hello, thank you for your question,

I'm afraid our prices are influenced by the price we are able to obtain products from our suppliers for. Many factors will go into the price of a product, such as the manufacturing process, ingredients, and as this particular product is a prescription medication, there will be numerous other factors involved with licensing etc.

The manufacturers of Optimmune are MSD who may be able to provide you with more information.

I hope this helps.

Cornea ulcer

20th Aug 2015
  • VioVet Customer Since: July 2012
  • From: VIC, Australia

Does opt immune contain steroids? My almost blind dog walked into a door but we don't know if she hit her eye. Can she continue using opt immune or should it be stopped? Thanks.

  • Non-Executive Director

Optimmune does not contain steroids. If her eye looks sore or is causing her distress she should see your vet. However if she seems fine then it should be OK to continue to use the Optimmune. Stopping it could allow increased progression of her underlying eye problem of course, so I would be wary of that too.


15th Jul 2014

Do I need a prescription ?

  • Web Developer

Yes, Optimmune Ophthalmic does require a prescription for supply.

How long will a tube last?

29th Jan 2014
Brian Alderman

Roughly howlong would a tube of Optimmune last?

  • Non-Executive Director

The dose you use of Optimmune is supposed to be controlled by the length of the line you squeeze onto the eye. This then governs also how long the tube lasts. On average you will get about 1 month from a tube if you are careful about not wasting any and apply a small amount (a quarter of a cm is the minimum recommended dose, twice daily. Theoretically the shelf life is supposed to be 1 month after opening, due to the potential for contamination etc. You are advised to not use any left over after 1 month, though many people do not stick to this.

Suitable for cats ?

13th Sep 2013
Clive Newton
  • VioVet Customer Since: October 2010
  • From: Dorset, United Kingdom

Our vet has given us a prescription for this eye ointment to be used on our elderly cat. Is this OK as it states it is for dogs?

  • Non-Executive Director

Optimmune is only licensed for use in dogs, however there is no medication of this type which is licensed for use in cats. Therefore if your vet considers that your cat would benefit from this medication, there is no option but to use a dog or human product. You and your vet need to make a judgment about safety and effectiveness. The normal level of certainty is not possible in this case, or in many similar situations.