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Drug Profile

The information on this site is intended to supplement and enhance, not replace, the advice of a physician who is familiar with your medical history. Decisions about your health should always be made ONLY after detailed conversation with your doctor.

Generic drug name: pilocarpine (pye loe KAR peen)
Brand name(s): ISOPTO CARPINE, PILOPINE HS
GENERIC: available FAMILY: Drugs for Glaucoma
Find the drug label by searching at DailyMed.

Pregnancy and Breast-feeding Warnings [top]

Pregnancy Warning

Pilocarpine caused fetal harm in animal studies, including a decrease in body weight, an increase in stillbirths and skeletal changes, and decreased survival. Because of the potential for serious adverse effects to the fetus, this drug should not be used by pregnant women.

Breast-feeding Warning

No information is available from either human or animal studies. However, since it is likely that this drug, like many others, is excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse effects in nursing infants, you should not take this drug while nursing.

Facts About This Drug [top]

Pilocarpine is a drug used for treating most forms of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition in which the pressure of the fluid inside the eye increases, and pilocarpine lowers the increased pressure.

Pilocarpine makes the pupils of your eyes smaller and affects how quickly they react to light by enlarging or narrowing. Smaller pupils and their slower reaction allow less light to enter the eyes. This can hinder you from performing tasks such as driving at night. Be careful when performing such...

Pilocarpine is a drug used for treating most forms of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition in which the pressure of the fluid inside the eye increases, and pilocarpine lowers the increased pressure.

Pilocarpine makes the pupils of your eyes smaller and affects how quickly they react to light by enlarging or narrowing. Smaller pupils and their slower reaction allow less light to enter the eyes. This can hinder you from performing tasks such as driving at night. Be careful when performing such tasks. When used for a long time, the initial improvement may diminish.

Right after you use pilocarpine, your vision may be blurred, but it will clear. You might notice this more when viewing things at a distance.

Before You Use This Drug [top]

Tell your doctor if you have or have had:

  • allergy to pilocarpine
  • bronchial asthma
  • eye infection or inflammation
  • predisposition to or previous retinal detachment
  • pregnancy or are breast-feeding

Tell your doctor about any other drugs you take, including aspirin, herbs, vitamins, and other nonprescription products.

When You Use This Drug [top]

  • Wash hands immediately after application to remove any drug that may be on them.
  • Have regular visits with your doctor to check your eye pressure.
  • Be cautious if you have blurred vision or change in near or far vision, especially at night.

How to Use This Drug [top]

  • Follow directions for application of eye drops and ointments. If you use an eye system form, follow directions that accompany it. Do not use if system is damaged or if too much medication is being released.
  • Store gel and eye system forms in refrigerator. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not expose to heat, moisture, or strong light. Do not allow this drug to freeze. Keep out of reach of children.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, but skip it if it is almost time for the next dose. Do not take double doses.
  • Do not share your medication with others.
  • Take the drug at the same time(s) each day.

Interactions with Other Drugs [top]

Evaluations of Drug Interactions 2003 lists no drugs, biologics (e.g., vaccines, therapeutic antibodies), or foods as causing “highly clinically significant” or “clinically significant” interactions when used together with the drugs in this section. We also found no interactions in the drugs’ FDA-approved professional package inserts. However, as the number of new drugs approved for marketing increases and as more experience is gained with these drugs over time, new interactions may be discovered.

Adverse Effects [top]

Call your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • increased sweating
  • muscle tremors
  • nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • troubled breathing or wheezing
  • watering of mouth
  • eye pain

Call your doctor if these symptoms continue:

  • blurred vision or change in near or far vision
  • brow ache or headache
  • irritation of eyes
  • decrease in night vision

Periodic Tests[top]

Ask your doctor which of these tests should be done periodically while you are taking this drug:

  • eye pressure tests

last reviewed January 31, 2021