This medication is used before eye examinations (e.g., refraction exams). It belongs to a class of drugs known as anticholinergics. Cyclopentolate works by temporarily widening (dilating) the pupil of the eye and relaxing the muscles of the eye.
This medication is usually applied in the eye 40 to 50 minutes before the procedure or as directed by your doctor. The dose may need to be repeated in 5 to 10 minutes. This medication is for use in the eye only. Do not take by mouth or inject.
To apply eye drops, wash your hands first. To avoid contamination, do not touch the dropper tip or let it touch your eye or any other surface. If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them before using eye drops. Ask your doctor when you can start wearing them again. If you are using another kind of eye medication (e.g., drops or ointments), ask your doctor when you should start using them again.
Tilt your head back, look upward, and pull down the lower eyelid to make a pouch. Hold the dropper directly over your eye and place 1 drop into the pouch. Look downward and gently close your eyes for 1 to 2 minutes. Place one finger at the corner of your eye (near the nose) and apply gentle pressure for 2 to 3 minutes. This will prevent the medication from draining away from the eye and reduce side effects. Try not to blink and do not rub your eye. Repeat these steps if your dose is for more than 1 drop or for your other eye if so directed.
Do not rinse the dropper. Replace cap after use.
This medication starts to work in minutes, and its effect usually lasts 24 hours or sometimes longer. Tell your doctor if you continue to have blurred vision, sensitivity to light, or dilated pupils several days after your exam.
Burning/stinging/redness of the eye, eye irritation, or temporary blurred vision may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: eye pain/swelling, vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night), slow/shallow breathing, fast/irregular heartbeat, seizures.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before using cyclopentolate, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to belladonna alkaloids (e.g., atropine); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as preservatives like benzalkonium chloride), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: personal or family history of glaucoma (angle-closure type), Down's syndrome, brain damage or spastic paralysis (in children), heart disease.
After you apply this drug, your vision may become temporarily blurred. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
This medication may make your eyes more sensitive to light. Protect your eyes in bright light. Use dark sunglasses when outdoors.
Caution is advised when using this drug in infants or small children because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially mental/mood changes. If using this medication in an infant, watch the infant closely for 30 minutes after the medication is applied.
Caution is advised when this drug is used in the elderly since this group may be more sensitive to side effects of this drug, especially increased pressure in the eye.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: eye medications for glaucoma/increased pressure in the eye (e.g., carbachol, dorzolamide, pilocarpine), certain antiarrhythmic drugs (e.g., quinidine, procainamide), antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine, meclizine), antispasmodics (e.g., dicyclomine), certain drugs for Parkinson's disease (e.g., anticholinergics such as benztropine, trihexyphenidyl), MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine), tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline).
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: flushed/dry skin, blurred vision, fast/irregular heartbeat, fever, mental/mood changes (e.g., hallucinations), loss of coordination.
Do not share this medication with others.
Store between 46-80 degrees F (8-27 degrees C) away from heat and light. Do not freeze. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
If you are using the single-use containers, discard any unused medication immediately after use.
Information last revised November 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet