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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: AK-Dilate, AK-Nefrin, Isopto Frin, Mydfrin, Neofrin, Neo-Synephrine Ophthalmic

Generic Name: phenylephrine ophthalmic (Pronunciation: fen ill EFF rin)

What is phenylephrine ophthalmic (AK-Dilate, AK-Nefrin, Isopto Frin, Mydfrin, Neofrin, Neo-Synephrine Ophthalmic)?

Phenylephrine ophthalmic causes constriction of blood vessels in the eyes. It also enlarges the pupils, reduces the production of fluid in the eyes, and increases the amount of fluid that drains from the eyes.

Phenylephrine ophthalmic available over-the-counter is used to relieve redness, burning, irritation, and dryness of the eye caused by wind, sun, and other minor irritants. Prescription-strength phenylephrine ophthalmic is used to constrict blood vessels in the eye and to dilate (make bigger) the pupil for conditions such as glaucoma, before surgery, and before eye examinations.

Phenylephrine ophthalmic may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of phenylephrine ophthalmic?

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop using phenylephrine ophthalmic and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, face, or tongue; or hives);
  • an irregular or fast heart rate; or
  • high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, or flushed skin).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to use phenylephrine ophthalmic and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • burning, stinging, pain, or increased redness of the eye;
  • tearing or blurred vision;
  • headache;
  • tremor;
  • nausea;
  • sweating;
  • nervousness;
  • dizziness; or
  • drowsiness.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about phenylephrine ophthalmic?

Do not touch the dropper to any surface, including the eyes or hands. The dropper is sterile. If it becomes contaminated, it could cause an infection in the eye.

If you wear contact lenses, remove them before applying phenylephrine ophthalmic. Ask your doctor if contact lenses can be reinserted after application of the medication. Phenylephrine ophthalmic may contains preservative (benzalkonium chloride), which may cause discoloration of contact lenses.

Do not use phenylephrine ophthalmic more often or continuously for longer than 48 to 72 hours without consulting a doctor. Chronic use of this medication may damage the blood vessels (veins and arteries) in the eyes. Consult a doctor if your symptoms do not improve or appear to worsen.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Phenylephrine ophthalmic may cause blurred vision. If you experience blurred vision, avoid these activities.

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.

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