Generic Name: phenylephrine (fen-il-EF-rin)
Brand Name: Examples include AK-Dilate and Neofrin
Phenylephrine drops are used for:
Constricting the blood vessels in the eye and dilating the pupil in certain eye surgeries, certain inflammatory conditions of the eye, or glaucoma. It may also be used in certain diagnostic procedures.
Phenylephrine drops are a decongestant and mydriatic. It works by narrowing blood vessels in the eye and widening the pupil.
Do NOT use phenylephrine drops if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in phenylephrine drops
- you have narrow-angle glaucoma or you are at risk for narrow-angle glaucoma
- you have severe narrowing of the blood vessels in the heart or brain
- the patient is a low birth weight neonate or an infant
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using phenylephrine drops:
Some medical conditions may interact with phenylephrine drops. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have heart disease, glaucoma, high blood pressure, or an overactive thyroid
- if you have had a recent eye injury or you have dry eyes
- if you are taking medicine for high blood pressure
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with phenylephrine drops. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Atropine, beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), droxidopa, furazolidone, guanethidine, methyldopa, monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (eg, phenelzine), reserpine, or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the risk of serious side effects, such as high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat, may be increased
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if phenylephrine drops may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use phenylephrine drops:
Use phenylephrine drops as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Phenylephrine drops are for use in the eye only. Avoid contact with the nose or mouth.
- To use phenylephrine drops, first, wash your hands. Tilt your head back. Using your index finger, pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to form a pouch. Drop the medicine into the pouch and gently close your eyes. Immediately use your finger to apply pressure to the inside corner of the eye for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not blink. Remove excess medicine around your eye with a clean tissue, being careful not to touch your eye. Wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them.
- To prevent germs from contaminating your medicine, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface, including your eye. Keep the container tightly closed.
- Do not wear contact lenses while you are using phenylephrine drops. Sterilize contact lenses according to the manufacturer's directions and check with your doctor before using them.
- Do not use phenylephrine drops if it is brown or contains particles.
- If you miss a dose of phenylephrine drops, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use phenylephrine drops.
Important safety information:
- Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using phenylephrine drops.
- Lab tests, including blood pressure, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use phenylephrine drops with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially heart problems.
- Phenylephrine drops are not recommended for use in low birth weight NEONATES or INFANTS. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
- Use phenylephrine drops with caution in CHILDREN because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is unknown if phenylephrine drops can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using phenylephrine drops during pregnancy. It is unknown if phenylephrine drops are excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using phenylephrine drops, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of phenylephrine drops:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Burning or stinging of the eye; headache; seeing "floaters."
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; confusion; constricted pupil; excitability; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; numbness of an arm or leg; one-sided weakness; severe or persistent headache; severe stomach pain; sudden severe dizziness, fainting, or vomiting; vision or speech changes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of phenylephrine drops:
Store phenylephrine drops at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep phenylephrine drops out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about phenylephrine drops, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Phenylephrine drops are to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take phenylephrine drops or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about phenylephrine drops. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to phenylephrine drops. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using phenylephrine drops.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More about phenylephrine ophthalmic
- Phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops
- Phenylephrine ophthalmic
- Phenylephrine Ophthalmic (Advanced Reading)