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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Pilocarpine (Ophthalmic)

Pilocarpine (Into The Eye)

Pilocarpine (pye-loe-KAR-peen)

Treats glaucoma and other eye problems.

Brand Name(s):

Ocu-Carpine, Pilocar, Isopto Carpine, Pilopine-HS
There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to pilocarpine.

How to Use This Medicine:

Ointment, Insert, Drop

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Wash your hands before and after using the 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.
  • 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.
  • The controlled-release eye system (Ocusert®) comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • When using the pilocarpine system, make sure that the units have not fallen out of your eyes while you were asleep. If one of the units falls out of your eye, rinse it with cool water and put it back in your eye. The units can be left in your eyes for one week.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the eye drops or ointment at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Store the Ocusert® unit in the refrigerator.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
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:

  • Talk with your doctor before using pilocarpine if you have asthma, high blood pressure, or other medical problems.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before taking this medicine.
  • This medicine will cause your pupils to become smaller. This is normal.
  • You may have trouble seeing in dim light. Be careful when driving at night.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

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

  • Severe eye irritation
  • Irregular heartbeat, dizziness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Sweating, tremors (shakiness)

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

  • Stinging, burning, red or watering eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache or browache.
  • Flushing (redness in the face)
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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