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Relief Side Effects

Generic name: phenylephrine ophthalmic

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 30, 2022.

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

Applies to phenylephrine ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution.

Serious side effects of Relief

Along with its needed effects, phenylephrine ophthalmic (the active ingredient contained in Relief) 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

Other side effects of Relief

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 Relief (phenylephrine ophthalmic)

Patient resources

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Professional resources

Related treatment guides


1. "Product Information. Neo-Synephrine (phenylephrine ophthalmic)." Sanofi Winthrop Pharmaceuticals (2001):

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

3. "Product Information. Phenylephrine Ophthalmic (phenylephrine ophthalmic)." Akorn Inc (2018):

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.