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cysteamine ophthalmic

Generic Name: cysteamine ophthalmic (sis TEE a meen off THAL mik)
Brand Name: Cystaran

What is cysteamine ophthalmic?

Cysteamine works by reducing the amount of cystine (an amino acid) in the body. Cysteamine is used in people with nephropathic cystinosis (NEF-roe-PATH-ik SIS-tin-OH-sis), a rare genetic condition that causes a build-up of cystine in the kidneys and other organs. Too much cystine can cause kidney failure or other medical problems.

Cysteamine ophthalmic (for the eyes) is used to keep cystine crystals from building up in the cornea (surface of the eye).

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

What is the most important information I should know about cysteamine ophthalmic?

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using cysteamine ophthalmic?

You should not use cysteamine ophthalmic if you are allergic to it.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether cysteamine ophthalmic will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

It is not known whether cysteamine ophthalmic passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I use cysteamine ophthalmic?

Cysteamine ophthalmic is usually given once every hour while you are awake. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Do not take by mouth. Cysteamine ophthalmic is for use only in the eyes.

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 10 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.

Each bottle of cysteamine ophthalmic should be kept in a freezer until you are ready to start using it.

Thaw the medicine for 24 hours before your first use. Then store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not refreeze after thawing.

Throw away the bottle after 1 week of use. Be sure to remove a new bottle from the freezer in time to allow 24 hours for thawing. When you take a bottle out of the freezer, write the discard date (7 days after first use) on the bottle so you will know when to throw it away.

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?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using cysteamine ophthalmic?

Do not use this medicine while wearing contact lenses. Cysteamine ophthalmic may contain a preservative that can discolor soft contact lenses. Wait at least 15 minutes after using this medicine before putting in your contact lenses.

Cysteamine ophthalmic side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • increased pressure inside the skull--severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, pain behind your eyes;

Common side effects may include:

  • eye pain, redness, or irritation;

  • headache;

  • vision problems; or

  • increased sensitivity of your eyes to light;

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Cysteamine ophthalmic dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Corneal Cystine Crystal Accumulation:

Recommended dose: 1 drop in each eye, every waking hour.

What other drugs will affect cysteamine ophthalmic?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on cysteamine used in the eyes. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about cysteamine ophthalmic.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.01.

Date modified: October 14, 2016
Last reviewed: March 16, 2014