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Tetrahydrozoline (Ophthalmic)

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 11, 2020.


(tet ra hye DROZ a leen)

Index Terms

  • Tetrahydrozoline HCl
  • Tetrahydrozoline Hydrochloride
  • Tetryzoline
  • Visine

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling. [DSC] = Discontinued product

Solution, Ophthalmic, as hydrochloride:

Eye Drops: 0.05% (15 mL) [contains benzalkonium chloride, edetate disodium]

GoodSense Eye Drops: 0.05% (15 mL); Tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride 0.05%, dextran 0.1%, polyethylene glycol 1%, and povidone 1% (15 mL) [contains benzalkonium chloride, edetate disodium]

GoodSense Relief Eye Drops: Tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride 0.05% and zinc sulfate 0.25% (15 mL) [contains benzalkonium chloride, edetate disodium]

Opti-Clear: 0.05% (15 mL [DSC]) [contains benzalkonium chloride, edetate disodium]

Visine Advanced Relief: Tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride 0.05%, dextran 0.1%, polyethylene glycol 1%, and povidone 1% (15 mL) [contains benzalkonium chloride, edetate disodium]

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Eye Drops [OTC]
  • GoodSense Eye Drops [OTC]
  • GoodSense Relief Eye Drops [OTC]
  • Opti-Clear [OTC] [DSC]
  • Visine Advanced Relief [OTC]

Pharmacologic Category

  • Adrenergic Agonist Agent
  • Imidazoline Derivative
  • Ophthalmic Agent, Vasoconstrictor


Stimulates alpha-adrenergic receptors in the arterioles of the conjunctiva to produce vasoconstriction

Use: Labeled Indications

Ocular decongestant: Relieves redness of the eye due to minor eye irritation and protects against further irritation; temporarily relieves burning and discomfort from dryness of the eye or exposure to wind and sun.


Documentation of allergenic cross-reactivity for ophthalmic sympathomimetics is limited. However, because of similarities in chemical structure and/or pharmacologic actions, the possibility of cross-sensitivity cannot be ruled out with certainty.

Dosing: Adult

Ocular decongestant: Ophthalmic: Instill 1 to 2 drops in the affected eye(s) up to 4 times daily

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Pediatric

Ocular decongestant (Visine products only): Children ≥6 years, and Adolescents: Ophthalmic: Refer to adult dosing.


For ophthalmic use only; wash hands prior to use. Do not touch tip of container to any surface, the eyelids, or the surrounding area. Remove contact lenses prior to administering products containing benzalkonium chloride; after instilling drops, wait at least 10 minutes before inserting contact lenses. Do not insert contacts if eyes are red.


Store at 15ºC to 30ºC (59ºF to 86ºF). Do not use if solution changes color or becomes cloudy.

Drug Interactions

There are no known significant interactions.

Adverse Reactions

The following adverse drug reactions and incidences are derived from product labeling unless otherwise specified.

Frequency not defined.

Cardiovascular: Hypertension, palpitations, tachycardia

Central nervous system: Headache, transient burning or stinging in the eyes

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Tremor

Ophthalmic: Blurred vision


Disease-related concerns:

• Cardiovascular disease: Use with caution in patients with cardiovascular disease, including hypertension and coronary artery disease.

• Diabetes: Use with caution in patients with diabetes.

• Glaucoma: Use with caution in patients with narrow-angle glaucoma.

• Hyperthyroidism: Use with caution in patients with hyperthyroidism.

Dosage form specific issues:

• Benzalkonium chloride: Some products may contain benzalkonium chloride, which may be absorbed by soft contact lenses.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Accidental ingestion: Accidental ingestion by children of over-the-counter (OTC) imidazoline-derivative eye drops and nasal sprays may result in serious harm. Serious adverse reactions (eg, coma, bradycardia, respiratory depression, sedation) requiring hospitalization have been reported in children ≤5 years of age who had ingested even small amounts (eg, 1 to 2 mL). Contact a poison control center and seek emergency medical care immediately for accidental ingestion (FDA Drug Safety Communication 2012).

• Self-medication (OTC use): For ophthalmic use only. When used for self-medication, discontinue and contact a health care provider if eye pain, vision changes, continued redness, or eye irritation occurs or if condition worsens or persists >72 hours; do not use with contacts (remove prior to use). Do not use if solution changes color or becomes cloudy. Do not touch tip of container to any surface and replace cap after use. When using this product, pupils may become temporarily enlarged; overuse may cause more eye redness.

Patient Education

What is this drug used for?

• It is used to treat eye redness.

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

• Burning or stinging

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

• Vision changes

• Eye pain

• Severe eye irritation

• Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a limited summary of general information about the medicine's uses from the patient education leaflet and is not intended to be comprehensive. This limited summary does NOT include all information available about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. For a more detailed summary of information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine, please speak with your healthcare provider and review the entire patient education leaflet.

Further information

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