Hydroxypropyl cellulose (Ophthalmic)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 9, 2019.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Lubricant, Ocular
Uses for hydroxypropyl cellulose
Hydroxypropyl cellulose belongs to the group of medicines known as artificial tears. It is inserted in the eye to relieve dryness and irritation caused by reduced tear flow that occurs in certain eye diseases.
Hydroxypropyl cellulose is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using hydroxypropyl cellulose
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For hydroxypropyl cellulose, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to hydroxypropyl cellulose or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Although there is no specific information comparing use of hydroxypropyl cellulose in children with use in other age groups, hydroxypropyl cellulose is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.
Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of hydroxypropyl cellulose in the elderly with use in other age groups, hydroxypropyl cellulose is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Proper use of hydroxypropyl cellulose
- Hydroxypropyl cellulose usually comes with patient directions. Read them carefully before using hydroxypropyl cellulose. It is very important that you understand how to insert this eye system properly. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
- Before opening the package containing hydroxypropyl cellulose, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- If the eye system accidentally comes out of your eye, as sometimes occurs when the eye is rubbed, do not put it back in the eye, since it may be contaminated. Instead, insert another eye system if needed.
- You may have to use hydroxypropyl cellulose for several weeks before your eye symptoms get better.
The dose of hydroxypropyl cellulose will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of hydroxypropyl cellulose. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For eye system dosage form:
- For dry eyes or eye irritation:
- Adults and children—Place one insert in the eye each day.
- For dry eyes or eye irritation:
If you miss a dose of hydroxypropyl cellulose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Precautions while using hydroxypropyl cellulose
Hydroxypropyl cellulose may cause blurred vision for a short time after each dose is applied. Make sure your vision is clear before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not able to see well .
Hydroxypropyl cellulose may also cause your eyes to become more sensitive to light than they are normally. Wearing sunglasses and avoiding too much exposure to bright light may help lessen the discomfort.
If your eye symptoms get worse or if you get new eye symptoms, remove the eye system and check with your doctor as soon as possible.
Hydroxypropyl cellulose side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Blurred vision
- eye redness or discomfort or other irritation not present before use of hydroxypropyl cellulose
- increased sensitivity of eyes to light
- matting or stickiness of eyelashes
- swelling of eyelids
- watering of eyes
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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