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Dipivefrin ophthalmic Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 15, 2023.

Applies to dipivefrin ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution.


You should not use this medication if you are allergic to dipivefrin, or if you have narrow-angle glaucoma.

Before using dipivefrin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have high blood pressure or a history of cataract surgery.

Do not use this medication while you are wearing contact lenses. This medication may contain a preservative that can be absorbed by soft contact lenses. Wait at least 15 minutes after using dipivefrin before putting your contact lenses in.

Do not allow the dropper tip to touch any surface, including the eyes or hands. If the dropper becomes contaminated it could cause an infection in your eye, which can lead to vision loss or serious damage to the eye.

Stop using dipivefrin and Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction while taking dipivefrin ophthalmic: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

Less serious side effects of dipivefrin ophthalmic may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to dipivefrin ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution.


Ocular side effects have included injection (6.5%), stinging (6%), and burning (6%). Follicular conjunctivitis and mydriasis have been reported rarely. Corneal vascularization or vesicles, eyelid ectropion, papillary conjunctivitis, blepharoconjunctivitis, macular edema, corneal toxicity (dendritic keratitis, punctate keratitis, or epitheliopathy), and blurred vision have also been reported.

Ocular side effects associated with ocular administration of epinephrine have included conjunctival and corneal adrenochrome deposits.[Ref]

Some long-term studies have reported observations of follicular conjunctivitis in almost all patients with up to 40% classified as severe reactions.[Ref]


Cardiovascular side effects have included slight increases in heart rate and diastolic blood pressure.

Cardiovascular side effects associated with ocular epinephrine have included tachycardia, arrhythmias, and hypertension.[Ref]

Most placebo-controlled studies have reported mild average increases in heart rate (3 to 4 beats/min--with or without palpitations) or diastolic blood pressure (1 to 5 mm Hg) associated with dipivefrin.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included headache and dizziness.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity reactions have included bronchospasm associated with a formulation containing bisulfite preservative.[Ref]


1. Morrison JC, Robin AL. Adjunctive glaucoma therapy: a comparison of apraclonidine to dipivefrin when added to timolol maleate. Ophthalmology. 1989;96:3-7.

2. Satterfield D, Mannis MJ, Glover AT. Unilateral corneal vesicles secondary to dipivefrin therapy. Am J Ophthalmol. 1992;113:339-40.

3. Bartley GB. Reversible lower eyelid ectropion associated with dipivefrin. Am J Ophthalmol. 1991;111:650-1.

4. Mehelas TJ, Kollarits CR, Martin WG. Cystoid macular edema presumably induced by dipivefrin hydrochloride (Propine). Am J Ophthalmol. 1982;94:682.

5. Keates EU, Stone RA. Safety and effectiveness of concomitant administration of dipivefrin and timolol maleate. Am J Ophthalmol. 1981;91:243-8.

6. Albracht DC, LeBlanc RP, Cruz AM, Lamping KA, Siegel LI, Stern KL, Kelley EP, Stoecker JF. A double-masked comparison of betaxolol and dipivefrin for the treatment of increased intraocular pressure. Am J Ophthalmol. 1993;116:307-13.

7. Yablonski ME, Shin DH, Kolker AE, Kass M, Becker B. Dipivefrin use in patients with intolerance to topically applied epinephrine. Arch Ophthalmol. 1977;95:2157-8.

8. Boerner CF. Total punctate keratopathy due to dipivefrin. Case report. Arch Ophthalmol. 1988;106:171.

9. Coleiro JA, Sigurdsson H, Lockyer JA. Follicular conjunctivitis on Dipivefrin therapy for glaucoma. Eye. 1988;2(Pt 4):440-2.

10. Liesegang TJ. Bulbar conjunctival follicles associated with dipivefrin therapy. Ophthalmology. 1985;92:228-33.

11. Salminen L, Krootila K, Helin H, Hakala T. Corneal vascularization and opacification during long-term use of dipivefrin. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 1995;11:37-40.

12. Blondeau P, Cote M. Cardiovascular effects of epinephrine and dipivefrin in patients using timolol: a single-dose study. Can J Ophthalmol. 1984;19:29-32.

13. Schwartz HJ, Sher TH. Bisulfite intolerance manifest as bronchospasm following topical dipivefrin hydrochloride therapy for glaucoma. Arch Ophthalmol. 1985;103:14-5.

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.