Cyclopentolate Ophthalmic : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Cyclopentolate ophthalmic is used to cause mydriasis (dilation of the pupil) and cycloplegia (paralysis of the ciliary muscle of the eye) before an eye exam. Cyclopentolate is in a class of medications called mydriatics. Cyclopentolate works by blocking certain receptors found in the eye to temporarily relax or provide short-term paralysis of the eye muscles.
How should this medicine be used?
Cyclopentolate comes as a solution (liquid) to instill into the eye. Your healthcare provider will inject the solution into your eyes before an eye exam.
Cyclopentolate ophthalmic may take about half an hour or more to fully work after instillation. The effects can generally last up to 24 hours, but can last for several days in some people. People with dark eye colors may require higher doses of cyclopentolate.
If a child is given cyclopentolate, watch it closely for at least 30 minutes after instillation. Infants should not be fed for 4 hours after instillation of cyclopentolate.
Cyclopentolate ophthalmic is for use in the eye (s) only. Do not swallow the cyclopentolate solution.
Be careful not to let the tip of the bottle touch your eyes, fingers, face, or any surface. If the tip touches another surface, bacteria can get into the eye drops.
To instill the eye drops, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands well with soap and water.
- While tilting your head back, lower the lower lid of your eye with your index finger to form a pocket.
- Hold the dropper (tip down) with the other hand, as close to the eye as possible without touching it.
- Rest the remaining fingers of that hand against your face.
- While looking up, gently squeeze the dropper so that the drops fall into the pocket formed by the lower eyelid.
- Remove your index finger from the lower eyelid.
- Close your eye and tilt your head down as if you are looking at the ground.
- Place a finger on the tear duct and apply gentle pressure for 2 to 3 minutes.
- If you need a second dose in the same eye, wait at least 5 to 10 minutes before instilling the next drop (s) and repeat steps 1 to 8.
- Replace and tighten the dropper bottle cap.
- Wash your hands and, if necessary, your child’s hands after instillation to remove any medications.
Other uses for this medicine
Cyclopentolate ophthalmic is also sometimes used to treat uveitis (swelling and inflammation of the eye). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this drug for your condition.
This medicine may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using ophthalmic cyclopentolate,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to cyclopentolate, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in cyclopentolate solution. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: carbachol (Miostat) or pilocarpine (Isopto Carpine, Salagen). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have narrow-angle glaucoma (a serious eye condition that can cause vision loss). Your doctor will probably tell you not to use cyclopentolate.
- Tell your doctor if you have Down syndrome (an inherited condition that causes a variety of developmental and physical problems) or have or have ever had angle-closure glaucoma (a condition in which fluid is suddenly blocked and cannot flow out of the eye causing a rapid and severe rise in eye pressure which can lead to vision loss).
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using cyclopentolate, call your doctor.
- You should know that your vision may be blurred during your treatment with cyclopentolate. Do not drive a car or operate machinery if you cannot see clearly.
- Plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and protect your eyes (for example, wear sunglasses). Cyclopentolate can make your eyes sensitive to sunlight.
- You should know that cyclopentolate ophthalmic contains benzalkonium chloride, which can be absorbed by soft contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, remove them before instilling cyclopentolate ophthalmic.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Call your doctor if you miss a dose and have questions about what to do.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Cyclopentolate may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stinging, burning, or discomfort in the eye
- itching or redness of the eye
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- redness, swelling or other symptoms of pink eye
- problems with coordination (usually in children)
- slurred speech (usually in children)
- restlessness (usually in children)
- hallucinations (usually in children)
- hyperactivity and other changes in behavior (usually in children)
- seizures (usually in children)
- mental confusion (usually in children)
- failure to recognize people (usually in children)
- bloating of the abdomen (when used in infants)
- difficulty urinating
- decreased sweating
- dry mouth
Cyclopentolate ophthalmic may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. Check out the FDA drug safe disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, as many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- rapid heartbeat
- behavioral disturbances
- difficulty urinating
- decreased sweating
- loss of consciousness
What other information should I know?
Keep all your appointments with your doctor.
Don’t let anyone use your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
- Cyclomydril® (as a combination product containing Cyclopentolate, Phenylephrine)
Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.