Health Encyclopedia > Medications

oxymetazoline ophthalmic

Pronunciation: OX i me TAZ oh leen off THAL mik

Brand: Visine L.R., Visine Long Lasting

What is the most important information I should know about oxymetazoline ophthalmic?

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You should not use this medication if you are allergic to it. Do not use oxymetazoline ophthalmic without your doctor's advice if you have glaucoma.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medication if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, or a thyroid disorder.

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Do not use oxymetazoline ophthalmic for longer than 3 days in a row without a doctor's advice. Call your doctor if your eye symptoms do not improve or if they get worse while using this oxymetazoline ophthalmic..

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Do not use this medication while you are wearing contact lenses. Oxymetazoline ophthalmic may contain a preservative that can be absorbed by soft contact lenses. Wait at least 15 minutes after using oxymetazoline ophthalmic before putting your contact lenses in.

Do not allow the dropper tip to touch any surface, including the eyes or hands. If the dropper becomes contaminated it could cause an infection in your eye, which can lead to vision loss or serious damage to the eye.

Do not use the eye drops if the liquid has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

What is oxymetazoline ophthalmic?

Oxymetazoline ophthalmic is a vasoconstrictor. It works by narrowing blood vessels in the eyes.

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Oxymetazoline ophthalmic is used to relieve redness, burning, irritation, and dryness of the eye caused by wind, sun, and other minor irritants.

Oxymetazoline ophthalmic may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using oxymetazoline ophthalmic?

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You should not use this medication if you are allergic to it. Do not use oxymetazoline ophthalmic without your doctor's advice if you have glaucoma.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medication if you have:

  • heart disease or high blood pressure;
  • asthma;
  • diabetes; or
  • a thyroid disorder.
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FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether oxymetazoline ophthalmic is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

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It is not known whether oxymetazoline ophthalmic passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use oxymetazoline ophthalmic?

Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.

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Do not use oxymetazoline ophthalmic for longer than 3 days in a row without a doctor's advice. Overuse of this medication may damage blood vessels in your eyes. Call your doctor if your eye symptoms do not improve or if they get worse while using this oxymetazoline ophthalmic..

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Wash your hands before using the eye drops.

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Do not use this medication while you are wearing contact lenses. Oxymetazoline ophthalmic may contain a preservative that can be absorbed by soft contact lenses. Wait at least 15 minutes after using oxymetazoline ophthalmic before putting your contact lenses in.

To apply the eye drops:

  • Tilt your head back slightly and pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket. Hold the dropper above the eye with the dropper tip down. Look up and away from the dropper as you squeeze out a drop, then close your eye.
  • Use only the number of drops your doctor has prescribed.
  • Gently press your finger to the inside corner of the eye (near your nose) for about 1 minute to keep the liquid from draining into your tear duct. If you use more than one drop in the same eye, wait about 5 minutes before putting in the next drop.
  • Do not allow the dropper tip to touch any surface, including the eyes or hands. If the dropper becomes contaminated it could cause an infection in your eye, which can lead to vision loss or serious damage to the eye.

Do not use the eye drops if the liquid has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

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Store the drops at room temperature away from heat and moisture. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

An overdose of oxymetazoline ophthalmic is not likely to cause life-threatening symptoms.

What should I avoid while using oxymetazoline ophthalmic?

Avoid using other medications in your eyes during treatment with oxymetazoline ophthalmic unless your doctor has told you to.

What are the possible side effects of oxymetazoline ophthalmic?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Stop using oxymetazoline ophthalmic and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe burning, stinging, pain, or eye irritation;
  • fast or uneven heart rate; or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild burning or stinging of the eye;
  • eye redness or tearing, blurred vision;
  • headache;
  • nausea;
  • sweating;
  • feeling nervous or shaky;
  • dizziness; or
  • drowsiness.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect oxymetazoline ophthalmic?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), or phenelzine (Nardil); or
  • a beta-blocker such as propranolol (Inderal), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), or labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with oxymetazoline ophthalmic. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about oxymetazoline ophthalmic.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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