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Tetrahydrozoline / zinc sulfate ophthalmic Side Effects

It is possible that some side effects of tetrahydrozoline / zinc sulfate ophthalmic may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

For the Consumer

Applies to tetrahydrozoline / zinc sulfate ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction while taking tetrahydrozoline / zinc sulfate ophthalmic: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using tetrahydrozoline and zinc ophthalmic and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • ongoing or worsening eye redness;

  • eye pain;

  • changes in your vision;

  • chest pain, fast or uneven heart rate; or

  • severe headache, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, or feeling short of breath.

Common side effects may include:

  • mild burning or stinging of the eye;

  • blurred vision, watery eyes; or

  • dilated pupils.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to tetrahydrozoline / zinc sulfate ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution


Ocular side effects have included temporary mydriasis, increased redness, and transient stinging after instillation. Other sympathomimetics have been associated with blurred vision, irritation, lacrimation, increased intraocular pressure, and punctate keratitis. Mydriasis, conjunctival hyperemia, and blepharoconjunctivitis have been reported with tetrahydrozoline.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects associated with ocular sympathomimetic agents have included headache, tremor, trembling, dizziness, nervousness, and drowsiness.[Ref]


Cardiovascular side effects associated with tetrahydrozoline have rarely included palpitations, hypertension, and bradycardia.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Visine A.C. (tetrahydrozoline-zinc ophthalmic)." Pfizer U.S. Pharmaceuticals Group, New York, NY.

2. Soparkar CN, Wilhelmus KR, Koch DD, Wallace GW, Jones DB "Acute and chronic conjunctivitis due to over-the-counter ophthalmic decongestants." Arch Ophthalmol 115 (1997): 34-8

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