Generic name: hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (hye-PROE-me-lose)
Drug class: Ophthalmic lubricants and irrigations
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Lubricant, Ocular
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on March 2, 2021.
Uses for hypromellose
Hypromellose is used as a surgical aid in certain eye surgeries, such as cataract removal and lens implantation procedures. It helps maintain the shape of the eye during surgery as well as protect the tissues of the eye from damage due to surgical instruments.
Hypromellose is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using hypromellose
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 hypromellose, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to hypromellose 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.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of hypromellose in children.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of hypromellose in the elderly.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
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.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of hypromellose. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Diabetes—May cause side effects to become worse.
- Glaucoma, history of—May make this condition worse.
Proper use of hypromellose
A doctor will give you hypromellose during your eye surgery.
Precautions while using hypromellose
Your doctor will want to check your progress at regular visits during the first few weeks after you receive hypromellose.
Serious eye problems may occur after treatment with hypromellose. Check with your doctor right away if your eye becomes red, sensitive to light, or painful, or you develop a change in vision several days after your treatment. Also tell your doctor if you are having headaches, nausea, or excessive eye tearing.
Hypromellose 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.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Blurred vision
- change in vision
- decreased vision
- loss of vision
- Pain in the eye
- redness of the white part of the eye or inside of the eyelid
- sensitivity of the eye to light
- tearing of the eye
- throbbing eye pain
- Pooling of a whitish fluid visible on the colored part of the eye
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.