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. This medication may also be used during certain eye surgeries and to reverse the effects of drugs used to enlarge the pupil (e.g., during an eye exam). Pilocarpine works by causing the pupil of the eye to shrink and decreasing the amount of fluid within the eye.
To apply eye drops, wash your hands first. To avoid contamination, be careful not to touch the dropper to any surface or let it touch your eye.
If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them before using eye drops. Wait at least 15 minutes before replacing your contact lenses.
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 one drop into the pouch. Let go of the eyelid and gently close your eyes. Place one finger at the corner of your eye (near the nose) and apply gentle pressure for 1 to 2 minutes. This will prevent the medication from draining out. Try not to blink and do not rub your eye. Repeat these steps for your other eye if so directed or if your dose is for more than 1 drop.
Remove extra solution around the eye with a tissue and wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them. Do not rinse the dropper. Replace the dropper cap after each use.
If you are using another kind of eye medication (e.g., drops or ointments), wait at least 5 minutes before using the other medication. Use eye drops before ointments to allow the eye drops to enter the eye.
If your doctor has prescribed this medication to treat glaucoma or high pressure in the eyes, use it 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(s) 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.)
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 -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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.
Different brands of this medication have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
If you are using the single-use containers, discard any unused medication immediately after use.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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