This medication is used alone or with other medications to treat high pressure inside the eye due to glaucoma or other eye diseases (e.g., ocular hypertension). Lowering high pressure inside the eye helps to prevent blindness, vision loss, and nerve damage. Pilocarpine works by decreasing the amount of fluid within the eye.
This medication is usually used once daily at bedtime or as directed by your doctor. To apply eye gel, wash your hands first. To avoid contamination, be careful not to touch the tip of the tube to any surface or let it touch your eye.
Tilt your head back and pull down lower eyelid to make a pouch. Gently squeeze the tube to place a 1/2 inch (1.5 centimeters) ribbon of gel into the pouch of the eyelid, unless you have been told by your doctor to use a different amount. Let go of the eyelid, close your eyes, and roll your eyeball in all directions for 1 to 2 minutes to spread the gel. Try not to blink and do not rub your eye. Repeat these steps for your other eye if so directed.
Remove extra gel from the eyelids and eyelashes with a tissue. Wipe the tip of the tube with a clean tissue to remove extra medication before recapping it. Wash hands again to remove any gel that may be on them.
If you are using another kind of eye medication (such as drops or ointments), wait at least 5 minutes before applying other medications. Use eye drops/gels before ointments to allow the eye drops/gels to enter the eye.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Most people with glaucoma or high pressure in the eyes do not have any symptoms. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.
Temporary irritation/burning/stinging of the eye, temporary blurred vision, poor vision in dim light, headache, or brow ache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly. (See also Precautions section.)
Crusting of the gel on the eyelids or eyelashes may occur overnight, causing them to stick together. If this occurs, wash them with water.
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.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: eye pain, flushing, diarrhea, nausea, stomach/abdominal pain or cramps, increased saliva, unusual sweating, vision changes.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: 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 pilocarpine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to preservatives (e.g., benzalkonium chloride); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, 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: asthma, other eye problems (e.g., iritis, detached retina), heart disease (e.g., heart failure, recent heart attack), low or high blood pressure, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), Parkinsonism, stomach/intestinal problems (e.g., ulcers, spasms).
After you apply pilocarpine, your vision may become temporarily blurred or unstable. Vision in dim light may be affected. Do not drive (especially at night), use machinery, or do any activity that requires clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
During pregnancy, this drug 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: other eye medications.
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: increased saliva, slow heartbeat, nausea, diarrhea, increased sweating.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., eye exams) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store between 36-80 degrees F (2-27 degrees C) away from light or moisture. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet