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All about: Pilocarpine Gel

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Generic Name: Pilocarpine Ophthalmic Gel (pye-loe-KAR-peen)
Brand Name: Pilopine HS

Pilocarpine Gel is used for:

Treating glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye) alone or in combination with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Pilocarpine Gel is a direct-acting miotic. It works by lowering the fluid pressure inside the eyeball by increasing fluid drainage from the eyeball. It also causes the pupils to constrict or get smaller (miosis).

Do NOT use Pilocarpine Gel if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Pilocarpine Gel
  • you have glaucoma, eye inflammation, or a severe eye infection

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Pilocarpine Gel:

Some medical conditions may interact with Pilocarpine Gel. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a detached retina, an eye infection, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • if you have had a heart attack

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Pilocarpine Gel. However, no specific interactions with Pilocarpine Gel are known at this time.

Ask your health care provider if Pilocarpine Gel may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Pilocarpine Gel:

Use Pilocarpine Gel as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Pilocarpine Gel is only for the eye. Do not get it in your nose or mouth.
  • Pilocarpine Gel may be used around the eye or in the eye. To use Pilocarpine Gel in the eye, first, wash your hands. Using your index finger, pull the lower eyelid away from your eye to form a pouch. Squeeze a thin strip of ointment into the pouch. After using Pilocarpine Gel, gently close your eyes for 1 to 2 minutes. Wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them. Wipe the applicator tip with a clean, dry tissue.
  • To prevent germs from contaminating your medicine, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface, including the eye. Keep the container tightly closed.
  • If you miss a dose of Pilocarpine Gel, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Pilocarpine Gel.

Important safety information:

  • Pilocarpine Gel may cause blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Pilocarpine Gel with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Pilocarpine Gel may cause harm if it is swallowed. If you may have taken it by mouth, contact your poison control center or emergency room right away.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Pilocarpine Gel while you are pregnant. It is not known if Pilocarpine Gel is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Pilocarpine Gel, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Pilocarpine Gel:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Blurred vision; change in vision; eye irritation; eyelid twitching; headache at the temples or around the eyes; increased tearing; nearsightedness; redness or swelling of the eye; temporary stinging or burning.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); detachment of the retina; poor vision at night.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include asthma; blurred vision; diarrhea; fainting; increased saliva; increased sweating; irregular heartbeat; low blood pressure; nausea; slow pulse; tremor; vomiting.

Proper storage of Pilocarpine Gel:

Store Pilocarpine Gel between 36 and 80 degrees F (2 and 27 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Pilocarpine Gel out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Pilocarpine Gel, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Pilocarpine Gel is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Pilocarpine Gel. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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