Medically reviewed on March 1, 2018
What is oxymetazoline ophthalmic?
Oxymetazoline is a vasoconstrictor. It works by narrowing swollen blood vessels in the eyes to reduce eye redness.
Oxymetazoline ophthalmic (for the eyes) is for temporary relief of minor eye redness or discomfort caused by minor irritants.
Oxymetazoline ophthalmic may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Oxymetazoline ophthalmic is for temporary relief of minor eye redness or discomfort caused by minor irritants.
Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have ongoing or worsening eye redness, eye pain, or vision changes.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use oxymetazoline ophthalmic if you are allergic to it.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you have other medical conditions, especially:
heart disease, high blood pressure;
a thyroid disorder; or
an eye injury or infection.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether oxymetazoline ophthalmic will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether oxymetazoline ophthalmic passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take oxymetazoline ophthalmic?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Using the medication too long or too often may worsen your symptoms and cause damage to the blood vessels in your 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 recommended.
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 doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 3 days of treatment.
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?
Since oxymetazoline ophthalmic is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are on a schedule, 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 oxymetazoline ophthalmic 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.
Keep this medicine out of the reach of children. Certain eye medications can cause serious medical problems in a young child who accidentally sucks on or swallows medicine from the eye dropper.
What should I avoid while taking oxymetazoline ophthalmic?
Do not use this medication while wearing contact lenses. Oxymetazoline 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.
Oxymetazoline 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.
Stop using oxymetazoline ophthalmic and call your doctor at once if you have:
ongoing or worsening eye redness;
changes in your vision;
chest pain, fast or uneven heart rate; or
Common side effects may include:
mild burning or stinging of the eye;
blurred vision, watery eyes; or
mild headache, dizziness, nervousness.
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)
What other drugs will affect oxymetazoline ophthalmic?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on oxymetazoline 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.
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.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.01.
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- Drug class: ophthalmic antihistamines and decongestants