Pilocarpine Eye Drop

Medication Information Leaflet

​What is this medication for?

Pilocarpine is used to treat glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition where pressure in the eye is increased. Untreated glaucoma can affect your eyesight and cause blindness. Pilocarpine helps to reduce the pressure in your eye.

How should I use this medication?

  • Do not stop using your medication without checking with your healthcare professional.
  • For proper use of eye drop:
    • Wash your hands with soap and water, and read the instructions on the label
    • Shake the bottle
    • Tilt your head backwards and look up
    • Gently pull the lower eyelid down to form a pocket and squeeze the bottle to apply one drop into your eye. To prevent the tip of the bottle from getting dirty, make sure the tip does not touch the eye or any other surface
    • Close your eyes and press down gently on the inner corner of your eye for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the medicine to be absorbed and prevent it from being drained into the back of your throat
    • If you need to use more than 1 drop of medicine, or if you are using another type of eye drop, wait at least 5 to 10 minutes before applying the next eye drop. This is to prevent the first drop of medicine from being washed away by the second drop of medicine before it has time to work. This also prevents any medicine interactions between different eye drops
    • If your doctor prescribed both eye drops and eye ointments, you should use the eye drops first
  • For contact lens wearers:
    • Remove your contact lens before each application of medication
    • If you are using hard lens, you can put them on directly after applying the eye drops
    • If you are using soft lens, you can put them on 30 minutes after applying the eye drops. Otherwise, your lens may be damaged by the preservatives present in the eye drops
    • If you need to apply eye drops twice a day, it is recommended that you apply them once in the morning before you put on your lens, and at the end of the day after you remove your lens

What should I do if I forget to use this medication?

If you forget to administer a dose, use it as soon as you remember. Then administer  your next dose at the usual time. Do not use two doses to make up for the missed dose. 

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if: 
  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Blurred vision or difficulty seeing in poor lighting
  • Burning or stinging sensation
  • Tearing of your eyes
  • Aching feeling around the brow area
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
If you experience blurred vision, you should avoid driving or doing things in places with poor lighting.

If these side effects happen and do not go away, check with your doctor as soon as possible. 

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes around your eyes or over your whole body
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. 

Record the date opened on the eye drop bottle. Throw away this medication one month after opening. 

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

Please take note that the above is not a complete list of all possible side effects. If you have any concerns about your medication or if you have other side effects that you think are caused by this medication, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on December 2019

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