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Common Brand Name(s): Akarpine, Isopto Carpine, Pilocar
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This medication is used alone or with other medications to treat high pressure inside the eye due to glaucoma or other eye diseases (such as 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 (such as 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 (such as 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 last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor 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 right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
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 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
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 (such as 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:
After you apply this drug, your vision may become temporarily blurred. 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 can do it safely.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this drug should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Alberta residents can call PADIS (Poison and Drug Information Service) 24 hours a day at 1-800-332-1414. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: increased saliva or sweating, tremors, slow heartbeat, dizziness.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as eye exams) should be done while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. 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. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
If you have questions about missing a dose or you don't have more medication, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
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 medications 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.
Information last revised December 2022.
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