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All about: Pilocarpine hydrochloride

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Generic name: Pilocarpine hydrochloride
Brand names: Pilopine HS Gel, Isopto Carpine, Pilocar

Why is Pilocarpine hydrochloride prescribed?

Pilocar causes constriction of the pupils (miosis) and reduces pressure within the eye. It is used to treat the increased pressure of open-angle glaucoma and to lower eye pressure before surgery for acute angle-closure glaucoma. It can be used alone or in combination with other medications. Glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States, is characterized by increased pressure in the eye that can damage the optic nerve and cause loss of vision.

Most important fact about Pilocarpine hydrochloride

There is no cure for glaucoma. Pilocar and similar drugs can keep ocular pressure under control, but only as long as you take them. You will probably need to continue treatment for life; and you must be sure to take the medication regularly.

How should you use Pilocarpine hydrochloride?

Follow these steps to administer Pilocar:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Gently pull your lower eyelid down to form a pocket next to your eye.
  3. Brace the eyedrop bottle on the bridge of your nose or your forehead.
  4. Tilt your head back and squeeze the medication into your eye.
  5. Close your eyes gently. Keep them closed for 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Do not rinse the dropper.
  7. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes before using a second eye medication.

To avoid contaminating the dropper and solution, do not touch the eyelids or surrounding areas with the tip of the dropper.

Do not use if the solution is discolored.

--If you miss a dose...

Apply it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

--Storage instructions...

Store away from heat and light. Do not freeze.

Keep the bottle tightly closed when it is not being used.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue using Pilocar.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Cloudy vision, detached retina, headache over your eye, nearsightedness, reduced vision in poor light, spasms of the eyelids, tearing eyes

Why should Pilocarpine hydrochloride not be prescribed?

Pilocar should not be used if you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to any of the components of this solution. Your doctor will not prescribe it for you if you have an eye condition in which your pupils should not be constricted.

Special warnings about Pilocarpine hydrochloride

Pilocar may make it difficult for you to see in the dark. Be careful driving at night, or doing any hazardous activity in dim light.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Pilocarpine hydrochloride

No interactions have been reported.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Pilocar during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Pilocar may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Pilocarpine hydrochloride is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding until your treatment with Pilocar is finished.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS

The usual starting dose is 1 or 2 drops up to 6 times a day, depending on the severity of the glaucoma and your response. During a severe attack, your doctor will tell you to put drops into the unaffected eye as well.

Overdosage

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose seek medical attention immediately.

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