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Pilocarpine Hydrochloride Eye gel

What is this medicine?

PILOCARPINE (PYE loe KAR peen) is used in the eye to decrease pressure in certain kinds of glaucoma. It is also used to prepare the eyes for surgery.

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is only for use in the eye. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash hands before and after use. Tilt your head back slightly and pull your lower eyelid down with your index finger to form a pouch. Try not to touch the tip of the tube to your eye, fingertips, or other surface. Squeeze the gel into the pouch. Do not blink for 30 seconds. Close your eye gently for 1 to 2 minutes to spread the gel. Your vision may blur for a few minutes. Use your doses at regular intervals. Do not use your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • breathing problems

  • eye irritation, burning, or itching

  • irregular heartbeat

  • nausea, vomiting

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • blurred vision

  • dizziness

  • headache

  • sensitivity of the eyes to light

  • weakness or tiredness

What may interact with this medicine?

  • atropine

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store in a refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). Do not freeze. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • asthma, bronchitis

  • glaucoma

  • heart disease

  • inflammation or damage in the eye

  • wear contact lenses

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to pilocarpine, sulfites, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • breast-feeding

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

This medicine can make your vision blur. You may find it is difficult to see, especially at night. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that requires clear vision until you know how this medicine affects you.

Do not wear contact lenses while you are using this medicine. Your lenses can deteriorate, and your eyes may feel irritated. Also, wearing lenses may increase the amount of this medicine absorbed by your body.

While you are using this medicine, have plenty to drink. You can get dehydrated if you sweat a lot.

This medicine may make your eyes more sensitive to light. Wear dark glasses in bright sun, or under any bright lights.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Date Last Reviewed: 7/24/2009
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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