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Trypan blue (Intraocular)

Generic Name: trypan blue (TRYE-pan BLOO)

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 20, 2020.

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • MembraneBlue
  • VisionBlue

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Solution

Therapeutic Class: Surgical Aid, Ocular

Uses for trypan blue

Trypan blue is used as a surgical aid during cataract eye surgery. It is a blue dye that works by staining a part of the eye called the retinal membrane. This creates a contrast between the different parts of your eye and helps your doctor to see the retinal membrane more clearly.

Trypan blue is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before using trypan blue

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 trypan blue, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to trypan blue 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 trypan blue in children.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of trypan blue in the elderly.

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 trypan blue

A doctor will give you trypan blue during your eye surgery. Any extra amount of trypan blue will be washed out of your eye at the end of the surgery.

Precautions while using trypan blue

Your doctor will want to check your progress at regular visits during the first few weeks after you receive trypan blue.

Some of trypan blue may remain in your eye for a few days. It might make your eye or tears appear to be blue. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions.

Trypan blue 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:

Incidence not known

  • Blue color remaining in the eye
  • Discoloration of artificially implanted lens

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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

More about trypan blue ophthalmic

Consumer resources

Other brands: VisionBlue, MembraneBlue

Professional resources

Related treatment guides