Generic Name: pilocarpine (pye-loe-KAR-peen)
Brand Name: Examples include Isopto Carpine and Piloptic
Pilocarpine drops are used for:
Treating certain types of glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye) alone or in combination with other medicines. It may also be used to reverse the effects of other medicines used during eye surgeries or examinations. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Pilocarpine drops are a direct-acting miotic. It works by lowering the fluid pressure inside the eyeball by increasing fluid drainage from the eyeball. It also causes the pupils to constrict or get smaller (miosis).
Do NOT use pilocarpine drops if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in pilocarpine drops
- you have a certain type of glaucoma (eg, pupillary block glaucoma), eye inflammation, or a severe eye infection
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using pilocarpine drops:
Some medical conditions may interact with pilocarpine 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 a detached retina, an eye infection, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- if you have had a heart attack
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with pilocarpine drops. However, no specific interactions with pilocarpine drops are known at this time.
Ask your health care provider if pilocarpine 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 pilocarpine drops:
Use pilocarpine drops as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Pilocarpine drops are only for the eye. Do not get it in your nose or mouth.
- To use pilocarpine drops in the eye, 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 eyelid for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not blink. Remove excess medicine around your eye with a clean, dry 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 the eye. Keep the container tightly closed.
- If you miss a dose of pilocarpine 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 pilocarpine drops.
Important safety information:
- Pilocarpine drops may cause blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use pilocarpine drops with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Pilocarpine drops may cause harm if it is swallowed. If you may have taken it by mouth, contact your poison control center or emergency room right away.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using pilocarpine drops while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use pilocarpine drops, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of pilocarpine 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:
Blurred vision; change in vision; eyelid twitching; headache at the temples or around the eyes; increased tearing; nearsightedness; redness or swelling of the eye; temporary stinging or burning.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); detachment of the retina; fast or abnormal heartbeat; increase in blood pressure; poor vision at night.
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. Symptoms may include asthma; blurred vision; diarrhea; fainting; increased saliva; increased sweating; irregular heartbeat; vomiting.Proper storage of pilocarpine drops:
Store pilocarpine drops at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep pilocarpine drops out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about pilocarpine drops, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Pilocarpine 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 pilocarpine 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 pilocarpine drops. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to pilocarpine 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 pilocarpine 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.