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Some commonly used brand names are:
In the U.S.—
Generic name product may be available in the U.S.
Ophthalmic phenylephrine (fen-ill-EF-rin) in strengths of 2.5 and 10% is used to dilate (enlarge) the pupil. It is used before eye examinations, before and after eye surgery, and to treat certain eye conditions. In the U.S., these preparations are available only with your doctor"s prescription.
Ophthalmic phenylephrine in the strength of 0.12% is used to relieve redness due to minor irritations of the eye, such as those caused by allergy, dust, smoke, wind, and other irritants. This preparation is available without a prescription; however, your doctor may have special instructions on the proper use of phenylephrine for your eye problem.
Phenylephrine is available in the following dosage form:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For phenylephrine, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to phenylephrine or to sulfites. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives.
Pregnancy—Ophthalmic phenylephrine may be absorbed into the body. However, studies on effects in pregnancy have not been done in either humans or animals.
Breast-feeding—Ophthalmic phenylephrine may be absorbed into the mother"s body. However, it is not known whether phenylephrine passes into breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are using this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.
Children—Children may be especially sensitive to the effects of phenylephrine. This may increase the chance of side effects during treatment. In addition, the 10% strength is not recommended for use in infants. Also, the 2.5 and 10% strengths are not recommended for use in low birth weight infants.
Older adults—Repeated use of 2.5 or 10% phenylephrine may increase the chance of problems during treatment with this medicine. In addition, heart and blood vessel problems have occurred more often in elderly patients than in younger adults.
Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are using any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of phenylephrine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
Do not use if the solution turns brown or becomes cloudy.
For patients using the 2.5 or 10% eye drops :
Dosing—The dose of ophthalmic phenylephrine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor"s orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of ophthalmic phenylephrine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Missed dose—If you are using the 2.5 or 10% eye drops and you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Storage—To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
If eye pain or change in vision occurs or if redness or irritation of the eye continues, gets worse, or lasts for more than 72 hours, stop using the medicine and check with your doctor .
For patients using the 2.5 or 10% eye drops :
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Symptoms of too much medicine being absorbed into the body—Less common with 10% solution; rare with 2.5% or weaker solution
Dizziness; fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat; increased sweating; increase in blood pressure; paleness; trembling
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
More common with 2.5 or 10% solution
Burning or stinging of eyes; headache or browache; sensitivity of eyes to light; watering of eyes
Eye irritation not present before use of this medicine
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
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