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AK-Nefrin Side Effects

Generic name: phenylephrine ophthalmic

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 1, 2021.

Note: This document contains side effect information about phenylephrine ophthalmic. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name AK-Nefrin.

For the Consumer

Applies to phenylephrine ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, phenylephrine ophthalmic (the active ingredient contained in AK-Nefrin) 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 as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking phenylephrine ophthalmic:

Symptoms of too much medicine being absorbed into the body

- Less common with 10% solution; rare with 2.5% or weaker solution
  • Dizziness
  • fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
  • increased sweating
  • increase in blood pressure
  • paleness
  • trembling

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of phenylephrine ophthalmic may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common with 2.5 or 10% solution

  • Burning or stinging of eyes
  • headache or browache
  • sensitivity of eyes to light
  • watering of eyes

Less common

  • Eye irritation not present before use of this medicine

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to phenylephrine ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution


The more commonly reported adverse reactions have included eye pain and stinging on instillation, temporary blurred vision and photophobia.[Ref]


There have been reports of serious cardiovascular reactions including ventricular arrhythmias and myocardial infarctions. Fatalities have been reported. Significant blood pressure elevations have been reported with recommended doses of 10% ophthalmic solution.

Frequency not reported: Ventricular arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, hypertension, syncope, tachycardia, arrhythmia, palpitations, extrasystoles, reflex bradycardia, coronary artery spasm


Periorbital pallor has been reported in preterm patients.

Frequency not reported: Eye pain and stinging on instillation, temporary blurred vision, photophobia, conjunctival allergy, reactive hyperemia, transient punctuate keratitis, lacrimation, corneal edema, pigmented aqueous floaters, rebound conjunctival vasoconstriction, rebound miosis, periorbital pallor


Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity


Frequency not reported: Blanching of skin, increased perspiration

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Subarachnoid hemorrhage, headache, tremor or trembling, aneurisms

More about AK-Nefrin (phenylephrine ophthalmic)

Consumer resources

Other brands
Altafrin, Mydfrin, Prefrin, AK-Dilate, ... +2 more

Professional resources

Related treatment guides


1. "Product Information. Phenylephrine Ophthalmic (phenylephrine ophthalmic)." Akorn Inc, Buffalo Grove, IL.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. "Product Information. Neo-Synephrine (phenylephrine ophthalmic)" Sanofi Winthrop Pharmaceuticals, New York, NY.

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.