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Phenylephrine/ polyvinyl alcohol drops

Generic Name: phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol (FEN-il-EF-rin/POL-ee-VYE-nil AL-ka-hol)
Brand Name: Refresh Redness Relief

Phenylephrine/ polyvinyl alcohol drops are used for:

Relieving eye redness and dryness due to minor eye irritation and preventing the eye from becoming more irritated. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops are a decongestant and lubricant combination. The decongestant works by constricting blood vessels in the eye, which helps relieve redness. The lubricant works by providing moisture to the eye, which helps relieve dryness and protects the eye from becoming more irritated.

Do NOT use phenylephrine/ polyvinyl alcohol drops if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops
  • you are taking droxidopa or you have taken furazolidone or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) in the last 14 days

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using phenylephrine/ polyvinyl alcohol drops:

Some medical conditions may interact with phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol 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 diabetes, heart disease, glaucoma, high blood pressure, or an overactive thyroid

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Droxidopa, furazolidone, or MAOIs (eg, phenelzine) 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/polyvinyl alcohol 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/ polyvinyl alcohol drops:

Use phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops are for use in the eye only. Do not get it in your nose or mouth. If you get phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops in your nose or mouth, rinse with water.
  • To use phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol 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 your eye. Keep the container tightly closed.
  • Do not wear soft contact lenses while you are using phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops. Take care of your contact lenses as directed by the manufacturer. Check with your doctor before you use them.
  • If you miss a dose of phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol 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 take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops.

Important safety information:

  • Do not use more than the recommended dose or use phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops for more than 3 days unless instructed otherwise by your doctor. Overuse of phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops may cause increased eye redness.
  • Do not use phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops if it changes color or becomes cloudy.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you experience eye pain, changes in vision, or if your symptoms worsen or last for more than 3 days.
  • Phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops may cause harm if it is swallowed. If you have taken it by mouth, contact your poison control center or emergency room right away.
  • Phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops are not recommended for use in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol 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 are using phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of phenylephrine/ polyvinyl alcohol 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:

Burning or stinging of the eye; temporary increase in pupil size.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); eye pain; new or worsening eye irritation; vision 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/polyvinyl alcohol drops:

Store phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol 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 phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol drops, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol 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/polyvinyl alcohol 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/polyvinyl alcohol drops. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to phenylephrine/polyvinyl alcohol 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/polyvinyl alcohol drops.

Issue Date: June 3, 2015