GENERIC NAME: TETRAHYDROZOLINE - OPHTHALMIC (TEH-truh-hi-DROZE-oh-leen)
BRAND NAME(S): Opti-Clear, Visine
USES: Tetrahydrozoline is a decongestant used to relieve redness in the eyes caused by minor eye irritations (e.g., smog, swimming, dust, or smoke). It belongs to a class of drugs known as sympathomimetic amines. It works by temporarily narrowing the blood vessels in the eye.Some brands of tetrahydrozoline eye drops may contain lubricants. Lubricants help protect the eyes from more irritation and dryness.
HOW TO USE: Follow all directions on the product package, or use as directed by your doctor. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.To apply eye drops, wash your hands first. To avoid contamination, do not touch the dropper tip or let it touch your eye or any other surface. Remove contact lenses before applying the eye drops. Wait at least 10 minutes after using this medication before inserting contact lenses.Before using, check this product visually. Do not use if the liquid has changed color or is cloudy. Discard the medication away from children and pets.Use this medication in the affected eye(s) up to 4 times a day as needed or as directed by your doctor.Tilt your head back, look upward, and pull down the lower eyelid to make a pouch. Hold the dropper directly over the eye and place 1 drop into the pouch. Look downward and gently close your eyes for 1 to 2 minutes. Place one finger at the corner of the eye near the nose and apply gentle pressure. This will prevent the medication from draining away from the eye. Try not to blink and do not rub the eye. Repeat these steps if your dose is for more than 1 drop and for the other eye if so directed.Do not rinse the dropper. Replace the dropper cap tightly after each use. If you are using another kind of eye medication (e.g., drops or ointments), wait at least 5 minutes before applying other medications. Use eye drops before eye ointments to allow the eye drops to enter the eye.Overuse of this type of medication may result in increased eye redness (rebound effect when drug wears off). If this occurs, tell your doctor. Do not use this medication for longer than 3 to 4 days at a time.If your condition persists or worsens after 72 hours, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, stop using this medication and seek immediate medical attention.
SIDE EFFECTS: Stinging/redness in the eye, widened pupils, or blurred vision may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: shakiness (tremor), fast/pounding/ irregular heartbeat, headache, sweating, weakness, nervousness.Stop using this medication and tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: eye pain, worsening redness/itching/swelling in or around the eyes, other vision problems.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before using tetrahydrozoline, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as preservatives like benzalkonium chloride), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: glaucoma, heart problems (e.g., heart attack, chest pain), high blood pressure, diabetes, eye infection/injury, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).This drug may cause temporary blurred vision after you apply it. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.Caution is advised when using this product in children because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the product, especially eye irritation.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: If you are using this product under your doctor's direction, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: MAO inhibitors (linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, isocarboxazid, tranylcypromine), guanethidine, tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline).This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
OVERDOSE: This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include drowsiness, severe sweating, decreased body temperature, slow/shallow breathing.
MISSED DOSE: If your doctor has directed you to use this medication on a regular schedule and you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Refer to storage information printed on the package. Store dropper bottle upright at room temperature between 59-77 degrees F (15-25 degrees C) away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
Related Disease Conditions
Dry eyes are caused by an imbalance in the tear-flow system of the eye, but also can be caused by the drying out of the tear film. This can be due to dry air created by air conditioning, heat, or other environmental conditions. Treatment may involve self-care measures, medications, or rarely, surgery.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Prevention & Wellness
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.