What is this medication?

PILOCARPINE (PYE loe KAR peen) treats conditions with increased pressure of the eye, such as glaucoma. It works by decreasing the amount of fluid in the eye, which helps lower eye pressure.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Adsorbocarpine, Akarpine, Isopto Carpine, Ocu-Carpine, Pilocar

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Eye disease, such as glaucoma, iritis, retinal detachment
  • Wear contact lenses
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to pilocarpine, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is only for use in the eye. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash your hands before and after use. Tilt your head back slightly and pull your lower eyelid down with your index finger to form a pouch. Try not to touch the tip of the dropper to your eye, fingertips, or other surfaces. Squeeze the prescribed number of drops into the pouch. Close the eye gently to spread the drops. Apply gentle finger pressure to the inner corner of the eye for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not use your medication more often than directed. Do not stop using except on the advice of your care team.

If you are using another eye product, wait at least 5 minutes between use of this medication and the other eye product.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

  • Interactions are not expected. Do not use any other eye products without talking to your care team.

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

This medication can make your vision blurry or cause eye fatigue. You may find it is difficult to see, especially at night. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that requires clear vision until you know how this medication affects you.

If you wear contact lenses, take them out before placing drops in the eye. Contact lenses may be put back in 10 minutes after putting the drops in your eyes.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • New or worsening eye pain, redness, irritation, or discharge
  • Sudden vision loss in one or both eyes

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report these to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye fatigue or trouble seeing objects far away
  • Eye irritation or itching
  • Headache
  • Increased tears after use

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.

To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:

  • Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
  • If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put in the trash, pour the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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