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Why is this medication prescribed?
Ophthlamic dipivefrin is used to treat glaucoma, a condition in which increased pressure in the eye can lead to gradual loss of vision. Dipivefrin works by decreasing the pressure in the eye.
How should this medicine be used?
Ophthalmic dipivefrin comes as a solution (liquid) to instill in the eye. Dipivefrin eye drops are usually applied every 12 hours. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use dipivefrin eye drops exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of them or use them more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Dipivefrin eye drops control glaucoma but do not cure it. Continue to use dipivefrin eye drops even if you feel well. Do not stop using dipivefrin eye drops without talking to your doctor.
To instill the eye drops, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Check the dropper tip to make sure that it is not chipped or cracked.
- Avoid touching the dropper tip against your eye or anything else; eye drops and droppers must be kept clean.
- While tilting your head back, pull down 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.
- Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your face.
- While looking up, gently squeeze the dropper so that a single drop falls into the pocket made by the lower eyelid. Remove your index finger from the lower eyelid.
- Close your eye for 2 to 3 minutes and tip your head down as though looking at the floor. Try not to blink or squeeze your eyelids.
- Place a finger on the tear duct and apply gentle pressure.
- Wipe any excess liquid from your face with a tissue.
- If you are to use more than one drop in the same eye, wait at least 5 minutes before instilling the next drop.
- Replace and tighten the cap on the dropper bottle. Do not wipe or rinse the dropper tip.
- Wash your hands to remove any medication.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using dipivefrin eye drops,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to dipivefrin, epinephrine, sulfites, or any other drugs.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are using, especially eye medications, and vitamins.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had high blood pressure, heart or blood vessel disease, irregular heartbeat, or asthma.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using dipivefrin eye drops, call your doctor immediately.
- If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using dipivefrin eye drops.
- If you are using another topical eye medication, instill it at least 10 minutes before or after you instill dipivefrin eye drops.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Instill the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not instill a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Dipivefrin eye drops may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- Eye irritation or discomfort
- Swelling or pain of the eye
- Blurred vision
- Increased sensitivity to light and glare
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (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 medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature in the dark and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). If this happens, do not use the medication; obtain a new supply.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor will order certain eye tests to check your response to dipivefrin eye drops.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.