Generic Name : PILOCARPINE OPHTHALMIC
Pronunciation : (pye loe kar peen)
Trade Name(s) : Pilocar, Pilodrops, Pilopress
Why it is prescribed: Pilocarpine relieves the symptoms of glaucoma. It also is used prior to certain types of eye surgery and after eye examinations.
When it is to be taken: To be effective, pilocarpine should be used at regularly spaced intervals. Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor to explain any part that you do not understand.
How it should be taken: Pilocarpine comes in eye drops, eye gel, and controlled-release systems to be placed in the eye every seven days. Your prescription label tells you how many drops or how much gel to use at each application. The gel and the controlled-release system should be used at bedtime. If you are to use the controlled-release system, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling it. Follow the patient instructions, and place a system in your eye at bedtime. The system is to stay in your eye for seven days. If it comes out, rinse it with cool tap water and replace it in your eye. Discard the system if it is damaged or contaminated, and insert a new one. The system can be placed either in the pocket formed at the lower part of the eye by the lower eyelid and eyeball or at the upper part of the eye under the upper eyelid. To prevent the system from coming out at night, work the system from the lower part of your eye to the upper part by gently pressing through your closed eyelid at bedtime. Check to be sure that the system is in place each night when you go to bed and when you wake up. if it is lost, you can either replace it or replace the systems in both eyes so that both eyes are on the same replacement schedule.
If you are to use the eyedrops, follow these steps:
(1) Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
(2) Use a mirror or have someone else put the drops in your eye.
(3) Make sure that the end of the dropper is not chipped or cracked.
(4) Avoid touching the dropper tip against your eye or against anything else.
(5) Hold the dropper tip down at all times to prevent drops from flowing back into the bottle and contaminating the remaining contents.
(6) Lie down or tilt your head back.
(7) Holding the bottle between your thumb and index finger, place the dropper tip as near as possible to your eyelid without touching it.
(8) Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your cheek or nose.
(9) With the index finger of your other hand, pull the lower lid of the eye down to form a pocket.
(10) Drop the prescribed number of drops into the pocket made by the lower lid and the eye. Placing drops on the surface of the eyeball can cause stinging.
(11) Close your eye and press lightly against the lower lid with your finger for two to three minutes to keep the medication in the eye.
(12) Replace and tighten the cap right away. Do not wipe or rinse it off.
(13) Wipe off any excess liquid from your cheek with a clean tissue. Wash your hands again.
If you are to use the gel, follow these instructions:
(1) Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
(2) Use a mirror or have someone else apply the gel.
(3) The gel must be kept clean. Avoid touching the tip of the tube against your eye or anything else.
(4) Lie down or tilt your head back.
(5) Holding the tube between your thumb and index finger, place the tube as near as possible to your eyelid without touching it.
(6) Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your cheek or nose.
(7) With the index finger of your other hand, pull the lower lid of your eye down to form a pocket.
(8) Place a small amount of gel into the pocket made by the lower lid and the eye.
(9) Blink your eye gently.
(10) Replace and tighten the cap right away.
(11) Wipe off excess gel from your eyelids and lashes with a clean tissue. Wash your hands again.
Special Instruction :
1. Pilocarpine may affect your ability to see well, especially at night. Do not drive a car until you know how this medication affects you.
2. Take this medication exactly as instructed. Do not use more or less than the prescribed amount; do not stop using it until your doctor tells you to do so.
3. If you still have symptoms of glaucoma after using this medication for a day or two, contact your doctor.
4. If you forget to apply a dose, apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it and apply any remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals. However, if you remember a missed dose at the time you are to apply the next one, apply only the regularly scheduled dose. Do not apply two doses at one time.
Side Effects :
1. Blurred or dim vision. Apply the medication at bedtime. Contact your doctor if this problem interferes with reading or daily activities or if it persists for more than several hours in the morning after bedtime use of the gel.
2. Stinging, burning, redness, itching, watering, or swelling of the eye; redness of the eyelids; headache. Contact your doctor if these effects persist for more than a few days.
3. Crusting of gel on eyelids, sticking together of eyelids in the morning. Wash the crusting away with water.
4. Sweating, watering of the mouth, nausea, dizziness, weakness. Contact your doctor immediately.
Other Precautions :
1. Pilocarpine can affect the way your body responds to other drugs. Tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking. Do not use any drugs, including nonprescription medications, without consulting your doctor.
2. Before having surgery with a general anesthetic, tell the doctor or dentist that you use pilocarpine.
3. If you have asthma, intestinal disease, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, an overactive thyroid gland, seizures, Parkinson's disease, or an obstruction of the urinary tract, tell your doctor.
4. Discard any unused portion of the gel after eight weeks and obtain a fresh supply.
5. When your doctor tells you to stop using this medication, throw it away.
6. Do not allow anyone else to use this medication.
Storage Conditions :
1. Keep this medication out of the reach of children.
2. Follow the storage instructions on the container.
3. Pilocarpine controlled-release systems should be refrigerated.
4. Store the gel at room temperature; do not allow it to freeze.