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Oxymetazoline (Ophthalmic)

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Oxymetazoline (Ophthalmic)

US Brand Names

• Visine L.R.

Canadian Brand Names

• OcuClear


Oxymetazoline (ox-i-met-AZ-oh-leen) is used to relieve redness due to minor eye irritations, such as those caused by colds, dust, wind, smog, pollen, swimming, or wearing contact lenses.

Oxymetazoline is available without a prescription; however, your doctor may have special instructions on the Administration for your medical condition.

Oxymetazoline is available in the following dosage form:


    • Ophthalmic solution (eye drops) (U.S. and Canada)

Special Considerations

If you are taking this medicine without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For ophthalmic oxymetazoline, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to oxymetazoline or to any other decongestant used in the eye. Also tell your health care provider if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives.


Ophthalmic oxymetazoline may be absorbed into the body. However, studies on effects in pregnancy have not been done in either humans or animals.


Oxymetazoline may be absorbed into the body. However, oxymetazoline has not been shown to cause problems in nursing babies.


Check with your doctor before using oxymetazoline eye drops in children up to 6 years of age. Eye redness in children can occur with illnesses, such as allergies, fevers, colds, and measles, that may require medical attention.

Older adults

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of oxymetazoline in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care provider if you are using any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of ophthalmic oxymetazoline. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

    • Eye disease, infection, or injury-This medicine may mask the symptoms of these conditions

    • Heart or blood vessel disease or

    • High blood pressure or

    • Overactive thyroid-If absorbed into the body, this medicine may cause side effects that may make the medical problem worse

    • Use of soft contact lenses-Because of the preservative in this medicine, some eye conditions may get worse if this medicine is used on top of soft contact lenses


Do not use oxymetazoline ophthalmic solution if it becomes cloudy or changes color.

To use:

    • First, wash your hands. With the middle finger, apply pressure to the inside corner of the eye (and continue to apply pressure for 1 or 2 minutes after the medicine has been placed in the eye). Tilt the head back and with the index finger of the same hand, pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to form a pouch. Drop the medicine into the pouch and gently close the eyes. Do not blink. Keep the eyes closed for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medicine to be absorbed.

    • To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface (including the eye). Also, keep the container tightly closed.

Use this medicine only as directed . Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for more than 72 hours, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. To do so may make your eye irritation worse and may also increase the chance of side effects.


The dose of ophthalmic oxymetazoline will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of ophthalmic oxymetazoline. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

    • For ophthalmic solution (eye drops) dosage form:

      o For eye redness:

        Adults and children 6 years of age and older-Use 1 drop in the eye every six hours.

        Children up to 6 years of age-Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.


To store this medicine:

    • Keep out of the reach of children.

    • Store away from heat and direct light.

    • Keep the medicine from freezing.

    • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.


If eye pain or change in vision occurs or if redness or irritation of the eye continues, gets worse, or lasts for more than 72 hours, stop using the medicine and check with your doctor .

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

When this medicine is used for short periods of time at low doses, side effects usually are rare.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

With overuse or long-term use

Increase in irritation or redness of eyes.

Symptoms of too much medicine being absorbed into the body

Fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat; headache or lightheadedness; nervousness; trembling; trouble in sleeping.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

August 13, 1998

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