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Atropine ophthalmic Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to atropine ophthalmic: ophthalmic ointment, ophthalmic solution

Along with its needed effects, atropine ophthalmic 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking atropine ophthalmic:

Incidence not known
  • Blurred vision
  • change in color vision
  • difficulty seeing at night
  • eye pain or stinging
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • increased sensitivity of the eyes to sunlight

Some side effects of atropine 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:

Incidence not known
  • Confusion as to time, place, or person
  • decreased tearing of the eyes
  • drowsiness
  • dry skin, mouth, or throat
  • feeling of warmth
  • hallucinations
  • holding false beliefs that cannot be changed by fact
  • irritability
  • redness of the clear part of the eye
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • unusual excitement, nervousness, or restlessness

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to atropine ophthalmic: ophthalmic ointment, ophthalmic solution


The most commonly occurring side effects include blurred vision, photophobia, eye pain and stinging, decreased lacrimation. Systemic effects are more common in infants and elderly.[Ref]


Severe reaction to the ointment may include hypotension.[Ref]

Frequency not reported: Transient bradycardia followed by tachycardia, palpitations, and arrhythmia[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Ataxia, restlessness, excitement, irritability, hyperactivity, somnolence, confusion, delirium, hallucinations[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Eye pain, stinging, blurred vision, photophobia, decreased lacrimation
Frequency not reported: Superficial keratitis (with prolonged use), conjunctivitis, hyperemia, edema[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Dry mouth, thirst, dysphagia, nausea, vomiting, constipation[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Contact dermatitis, allergic conjunctivitis, eyelid edema[Ref]


Severe reaction to the ointment may include hypotension with progressive respiratory depression. Coma and death have been reported in very young children.[Ref]

Frequency not reported: Decreased bronchial secretions with dry throat and difficulty talking[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Dry skin, flushing, rash[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Urinary retention, urinary urgency


Frequency not reported: Local irritation (with prolonged use)


Frequency not reported: Confusion, delirium, hallucinations


1. "Product Information. Atropisol (atropine ophthalmic)." Ciba Vision Ophthalmics, Duluth, GA.

Some side effects of atropine ophthalmic may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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