naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic

Medically Reviewed on 3/2/2023

Generic Name: naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic

Brand Name: Clear Eyes Cooling Comfort Itchy Eye Relief

Drug Class: Decongestants, Ophthalmic

What is naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic, and what is it used for?

Naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic is a combination medication used for the temporary relief of redness, burning, and discomfort in the eyes caused by dry eyes or other irritations to the eyes.

Each of the three drugs in the formulation works in a unique way to provide relief to itchy and irritated eyes. Naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic is a solution topically applied to the eye and is available over the counter (OTC).

  • Naphazoline: Naphazoline reduces redness of eye by constricting the small blood vessels (arterioles) and reducing blood flow in the membrane (conjunctiva) that covers the eye whites. Naphazoline is an alpha1 adrenergic agonist that works by stimulating alpha adrenergic receptors, protein molecules that are stimulated by norepinephrine, a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter). Alpha receptors make smooth muscles around blood vessels contract, causing vasoconstriction and reduction in blood flow.
  • Zinc sulfate: Zinc sulfate is a combination of zinc, a naturally occurring mineral, and sulfate, a form of sulfur, a chemical element abundant in nature. Zinc sulfate is an astringent that decongests the eye by shrinking the tissue.
  • Glycerin: Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that may be derived from plant or animal sources. Glycerin helps reduce intraocular pressure by drawing out the intraocular fluid into the bloodstream. Glycerin also works as a lubricant and reduces eye irritation.


  • Do not use naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic if you are hypersensitive to any of the components of the formulation.
  • Overuse of naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic solution may increase eye redness and dilate the pupils.
  • Stop using naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic and check with your physician if:
    • Your condition worsens or persists for longer than 72 hours
    • You have continued irritation or redness of the eye
    • You develop eye pain or vision changes
  • Do not use naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, a condition with high intraocular pressure that can progressively damage the optic nerve.
  • Do not use concurrently with monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor antidepressant medications.
  • Use naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic with caution in the following conditions:
  • There have been rare reports of hypertension, cardiac irregularities, nervousness, nausea, dizziness, weakness, and sweating associated with the use of naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic solution.


What causes dry eyes? See Answer

What are the side effects of naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic?

Common side effects of naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic include:

  • Mild transient irritation and/or stinging
  • Dilation of pupils (mydriasis)
  • Blurred vision
  • Increase or decrease in intraocular pressure
  • Headache

Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:

This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What are the dosages of naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic?

Ophthalmic solution

  • 0.012%/0.25%/0.25%

Adult and Pediatric:

Ocular Vasoconstrictor/Decongestant

  • Temporary relief of ocular redness caused by irritation and relief of burning or irritation caused by dry eyes
  • 1-2 drops to affected eye every 3-4 hours up to four times/day as needed
  • Not to exceed 72 hours of use


  • Ophthalmic use of naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin solution is unlikely to result in an overdose.
  • Overdose from systemic absorption may cause drowsiness and reduced body temperature.
  • Overdose from oral ingestion in children can have serious adverse reactions including central nervous system depression with symptoms such as respiratory depression, sedation, and excessively slow heartbeat (bradycardia) that can progress to coma and death.
  • Overdose is treated with symptomatic and supportive care.

What drugs interact with naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic?

Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.

  • Naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic has no listed severe, serious, moderate, or mild interactions with other drugs.

The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.

It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions about the medication.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • Naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic should be used with caution during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
  • It is not known if ophthalmic application results in sufficient systemic absorption for the drug to be present in breastmilk.
  • Do not use any OTC drugs, including naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic, without checking with your physician if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What else should I know about naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic?

  • Use naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic exactly as directed.
  • Naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic solution is only for external topical use in the eyes.
  • Do not use if the solution changes color or becomes cloudy.
  • Remove contact lenses before applying.
  • Do not touch the tip of the container to any surface, to avoid contamination.
  • Store safely out of reach of children.
  • In case of oral ingestion and overdose, seek immediate medical help or contact Poison Control.

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Naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic is a combination medication used for the temporary relief of redness, burning, and discomfort in the eyes caused by dry eyes or other irritations to the eyes. Common side effects of naphazoline/zinc sulfate/glycerin ophthalmic include mild transient irritation and/or stinging, dilation of pupils (mydriasis), blurred vision, increase or decrease in intraocular pressure, and headache. Consult with your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.

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Medically Reviewed on 3/2/2023