Generic name: oxymetazoline (ox-i-me-TAZ-oh-leen)
Drug class: Ophthalmic antihistamines and decongestants
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jul 30, 2021.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Visine L.R.
- Visine Workplace
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Decongestant
Chemical Class: Oxymetazoline
Uses for oxymetazoline
Oxymetazoline is used to treat acquired blepharoptosis, a condition wherein there is drooping or abnormal lowering of the upper eyelid.
Oxymetazoline is available without a prescription. Your doctor may have special instructions on the proper use and dose for your medical problem.
Before using oxymetazoline
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 oxymetazoline, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to oxymetazoline 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 have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of oxymetazoline in children younger than 13 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of oxymetazoline 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. When you are taking oxymetazoline, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using oxymetazoline with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Methylene Blue
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 oxymetazoline. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Brain or nerve problems (eg, stroke, aneurysm, Horner syndrome, myasthenia gravis) or
- Eye or vision problems (eg, eye infection, mass, paralysis, or weakness) or
- Heart or blood vessel disease, severe or unstable or
- Hypertension (high blood pressure), uncontrolled or
- Hypotension (low blood pressure), orthostatic or uncontrolled or
- Sjogren's syndrome (immune system disorder)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Glaucoma, narrow-angle, untreated—Use with caution. May increase risk for angle closure glaucoma.
Proper use of oxymetazoline
Use oxymetazoline only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
Oxymetazoline comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Oxymetazoline should be used only for your drooping eyelid. Check with your doctor before using it for other problems, especially if you think that an infection may be present.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using oxymetazoline.
- Tilt your head back and, pressing your finger gently on the skin just beneath the lower eyelid, pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to make a space. Drop the medicine into this space.
- Let go of the eyelid and gently close the eyes. Do not blink. Keep the eyes closed and apply pressure to the inner corner of the eye with your finger for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medicine to be absorbed by the eye.
- If you think you did not get the drop of medicine into your eye properly, repeat the directions with another drop.
- To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface (including the eye). Also, keep the container tightly closed. Serious damage to the eye and possible loss of vision may result from using contaminated eye medicines.
If you wear contact lenses, remove them before you put the drops into your eyes. Wait at least 15 minutes after using oxymetazoline before you put your contact lenses back in.
Wait at least 15 minutes after using oxymetazoline before you use other eye medicines.
The dose of oxymetazoline 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 oxymetazoline. 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 ophthalmic dosage form (eye drops):
- For drooping eyelids:
- Adults and children 13 years of age and older—Use 1 drop into the affected eye once a day.
- Children younger than 13 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For drooping eyelids:
If you miss a dose of oxymetazoline, apply 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.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep oxymetazoline in the child-resistant foil pouch until you use it. Protect oxymetazoline from excessive heat.
Precautions while using oxymetazoline
It is very important that your eye doctor (ophthalmologist) check your or your child's progress at regular visits to make sure oxymetazoline is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Oxymetazoline may cause blood vessel problems, including changes in your or your child's blood pressure. Your or your child's blood pressure might get too high or too low while using oxymetazoline. This may cause headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting, or blurred vision. You might need to measure your or your child's blood pressure at home. If you think your or your child's blood pressure is too high or too low, call your doctor right away.
Oxymetazoline may increase your or your child's risk of having an eye problem called angle-closure glaucoma. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have eye pain, blurred vision, or other changes in vision.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or non-prescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Oxymetazoline 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Blurred vision
- painful irritation of the clear front part of the eye
- redness of the white part of the eyes or the inside of the eyelids
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:
- Dry eye
- pain at the instillation site
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.
More about oxymetazoline ophthalmic
- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 2 Reviews
- Drug class: ophthalmic antihistamines and decongestants
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