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Pilocarpine (Into the eye)

Pilocarpine (pye-loe-KAR-peen)

Controls pressure inside the eye.

Brand Name(s):

Isopto Carpine, Pilopine-HS

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to pilocarpine.

How to Use This Medicine:

Ointment, Drop

  • Use as directed. This medicine should be used only in your eyes.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
  • Shake the eye drops well just before each use.
  • Lie down or tilt your head back. With your index finger, pull down the lower lid of your eye to form a pocket.
  • To use the eye drops: Hold the dropper close to your eye with the other hand. Drop the correct number of drops into the pocket made between your lower lid and eyeball. Gently close your eyes. Place your index finger over the inner corner of your eye for 1 minute. Do not rinse or wipe the dropper or allow it to touch anything, including your eye. Put the cap on the bottle right away. Keep the bottle upright when you are not using it.
  • Gel:
    • To use the ointment: Hold the tip of the tube close to your eye with the other hand. Avoid touching the tip of the tube to your eye or finger. Squeeze a ribbon of ointment into the pocket between your lower lid and eyeball. Close your eyes for 1 to 2 minutes. Wipe the tip with a clean tissue and close the tube tightly. Keep the tube tightly closed when you are not using it.
    • If you still have some gel on your eyelashes when you wake up in the morning, just wash it off with warm water.
    • If you also use eye drops of another medicine, use the drops first. Then wait at least 5 minutes before you apply the gel.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have asthma or problems with your retina.
  • This medicine will cause your pupils to become smaller. This is normal.
  • This medicine may make you have trouble seeing at night or in dim light. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Severe eye irritation
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Sweating

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild stinging, burning, redness, or watering in your eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 11/4/2014


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