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Apraclonidine ophthalmic

Generic name: apraclonidine ophthalmic (A pra KLON i deen off THAL mik)
Brand name: Iopidine
Dosage forms: ophthalmic solution (0.5%; 1%)
Drug class: Ophthalmic glaucoma agents

Medically reviewed by on Jul 2, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is apraclonidine ophthalmic?

Apraclonidine reduces the amount of fluid in the eye, which decreases pressure inside the eye.

Apraclonidine ophthalmic (for the eyes) is used short term to treat or prevent high pressure inside the eye.

Apraclonidine ophthalmic may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Do not use apraclonidine ophthalmic if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to apraclonidine or to clonidine (Catapres).

Do not use apraclonidine ophthalmic if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

To make sure this apraclonidine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether apraclonidine ophthalmic passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed on the day you are treated with this medicine.

How should I use apraclonidine ophthalmic?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use apraclonidine ophthalmic in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Apraclonidine ophthalmic is usually given as 1 to 2 drops in each affected eye, 3 times per day. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Wash your hands before using the eye drops.

To apply the eye drops:

  • Tilt your head back slightly and pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket. Hold the dropper above the eye with the tip down. Look up and away from the dropper and squeeze out a drop.

  • Close your eyes for 2 or 3 minutes with your head tipped down, without blinking or squinting. Gently press your finger to the inside corner of the eye for about 1 minute, to keep the liquid from draining into your tear duct.

  • Use only the number of drops your doctor has prescribed.

  • Wait at least 5 minutes before using any other eye drops your doctor has prescribed.

Do not touch the tip of the eye dropper or place it directly on your eye. A contaminated dropper can infect your eye, which could lead to serious vision problems.

Do not use the eye drops if the liquid has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Apraclonidine may become less effective over time. This medicine is for short-term use only.

To be sure this medicine is helping your condition, your vision may need to be tested. You may not notice any change in your symptoms, but vision tests will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with apraclonidine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of apraclonidine is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.

What should I avoid while using apraclonidine ophthalmic?

apraclonidine ophthalmic may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Apraclonidine ophthalmic side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe itching, redness, or discomfort in or around your eye;

  • crusting or drainage around your eye;

  • eye pain or increased watering; or

  • feeling like something is in your eye.

Common side effects may include:

  • blurred vision;

  • dry eyes;

  • eye redness or watering, puffy eyelids;

  • dizziness, drowsiness; or

  • dry mouth.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Apraclonidine ophthalmic dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Glaucoma:

0.5% Solution: 1 to 2 drops instilled in the affected eye(s) 3 times per day

-When used concomitantly with other ophthalmic drugs, an approximate 5-minute interval between instillation of each medication should be followed to prevent washout of the previous dose.
-Use of this drug may not significantly reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) if this drug is added to a regimen already containing 2 drugs as part of the maximally tolerated medical therapy.
-Patients on maximally tolerated medical therapy who are treated to delay surgery should have frequent follow up examinations and treatment should be discontinued if the IOP rises significantly.

Use: Short-term adjunctive therapy in patients on maximally tolerated medical therapy who require additional IOP reduction

Usual Adult Dose for Postoperative Increased Intraocular Pressure:

1% Ophthalmic Solution: 1 drop instilled into the eye scheduled for operation 1 hour before initiating anterior segment laser surgery, AND THEN 1 drop should be instilled into the same eye immediately upon completion of the laser surgical procedure

Comment: A separate container should be used for each dose and discarded after use.

Use: Control or prevent post-surgical elevations in IOP that occur in patients after argon laser trabeculoplasty, argon laser iridotomy, or neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) posterior capsulotomy

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What other drugs will affect apraclonidine ophthalmic?

Using apraclonidine ophthalmic while you are taking other medications that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before using apraclonidine if you also take a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • medicine to treat mental illness;

  • insulin or oral diabetes medicine;

  • blood pressure medication; or

  • heart rhythm medication.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with apraclonidine ophthalmic, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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