Ophthalmic pilocarpine is used to treat glaucoma, a condition in which increased pressure in the eye can lead to gradual loss of vision. Pilocarpine is in a class of medications called miotics. It works by allowing excess fluid to drain from the eye.
Ophthalmic pilocarpine comes as a solution (liquid) to instill in the eyes and as an eye gel to apply to the eyes. The eye drops are usually instilled two to four times daily. The gel is usually applied once daily at bedtime. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use pilocarpine eye drops and eye gel exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Pilocarpine eye drops and eye gel control glaucoma but do not cure it. Continue to use pilocarpine eye drops or eye gel even if you feel well. Do not stop using pilocarpine eye drops or eye gel without talking to your doctor.
To instill the eye drops, follow these steps:
To apply the eye gel, follow these instructions:
Before using pilocarpine eye drops or eye gel,
Instill or apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not instill or apply a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Pilocarpine eye drops or eye gel may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep the medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor will order certain eye tests to check your response to pilocarpine eye drops or eye gel.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: September 15, 2017.