Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Dec 30, 2021.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Mydriatic-Cycloplegic
Pharmacologic Class: Antimuscarinic
Uses for tropicamide
Tropicamide is used to dilate (enlarge) the pupil so that the doctor can see into the back of your eye. It is used before eye examinations, such as cycloplegic refraction and examination of the fundus of the eye. Tropicamide may also be used before and after eye surgery.
Tropicamide is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using tropicamide
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 tropicamide, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to tropicamide 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.
Infants and young children and children with blond hair or blue eyes may be especially sensitive to the effects of tropicamide. This may increase the chance or severity of some of the side effects during treatment.
Elderly people are especially sensitive to the effects of tropicamide. This may increase the chance of side effects during treatment.
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 tropicamide, 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 tropicamide with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Potassium Citrate
Using tropicamide 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.
- Glycopyrronium Tosylate
- Secretin Human
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 tropicamide. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Brain damage (in children) or
- Down's syndrome (Trisomy21) (in children and adults) or
- Glaucoma or
- Spastic paralysis (in children)—Tropicamide may make the condition worse
Proper use of tropicamide
- First, wash your hands. Tilt the 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 2 or 3 minutes to allow the medicine to be absorbed by the eye. This is especially important in infants.
- Immediately after using the eye drops, wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them. If you are using the eye drops for an infant or child, be sure to wash the infant's or child's hands also, and do not let any of the medicine get in the infant's or child's mouth.
- 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.
Use tropicamide only as directed. Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of too much medicine being absorbed into the body and the chance of side effects.
The dose of tropicamide 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 tropicamide. 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 solution (eye drops) dosage form:
- For cycloplegic refraction (eye examination):
- Adults—One drop of 1% solution, repeated once in five minutes.
- Children—One drop of 0.5 to 1% solution, repeated once in five minutes.
- For examination of fundus of eye:
- Adults and children—One drop of 0.5% solution fifteen to twenty minutes before examination.
- For cycloplegic refraction (eye examination):
Precautions while using tropicamide
After tropicamide is applied to your eyes:
- Your pupils will become unusually large and you will have blurring of vision, especially for close objects. 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.
- Your eyes will become more sensitive to light than they are normally. When you go out during the daylight hours, even on cloudy days, wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) light to protect your eyes from sunlight and other bright lights. Ordinary sunglasses may not protect your eyes. If you have any questions about the kind of sunglasses to wear, check with your doctor.
- If these effects continue for longer than 24 hours after the medicine is used, check with your doctor.
Tropicamide 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 as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Symptoms of too much medicine being absorbed into the body
- Clumsiness or unsteadiness
- fast heartbeat
- flushing or redness of face
- hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there)
- increased thirst or dryness of mouth
- skin rash
- slurred speech
- swollen stomach in infants
- unusual behavior, especially in children
- unusual drowsiness, tiredness, or weakness
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
- sensitivity of eyes to light
- stinging of the eye when the medicine is applied
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 tropicamide ophthalmic
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- Drug class: mydriatics
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