1. Eye Drops Definition
Eye drops are suspension of drugs or a sterile solution. Eye drops are
indicated to produce a local effect directly on the eye.
Eye drops can be prescribed to treat many symptoms that affect the eyes, including:
- Excessive watering;
Such symptoms can be caused by a variety of conditions including:
- Chronic dryness;
- Eye infections.
2. Classes of Eye Drops
2.1. Antihistamine eye drops.
Drugs that attach to histamine receptors, preventing the chemical histamine from triggering symptoms of an allergic reaction.
- Allergo Comod;
- Azelastine (Optivar);
- Ketotifen (Zaditor);
- Patanol (Olopatadine);
- Emedastine (Emadine);
- Pheniramine (Opcon-A);
2.2. Decongestant eye drops.
Shrink blood vessels in the eyes that are swollen because of exposure to an allergen:
- Tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride (Visine, Murine Plus, Eyesine);
- Naphazoline hydrochloride (Albalon, Vasocon, Allerest);
2.3. Antihistamine/decongestant combination eye drops.
Antihistamines and decongestants combination:
2.4. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) eye drops.
Inhibit the body's ability to produce chemicals called prostaglandins, which are released during an allergic reaction.
- Acular (Ketorolac);
- Nepafenac (Nevanac);
- Sodium Sulamyd;
2.5. Corticosteroid eye drops.
Decreases inflammation during an allergic reaction by mimicking the behavior of cortisol, a hormone in the body that aids
proper body function during stressful situations:
- Flomex (Fluorometholone, FML);
- Loteflam (Loteprednol etabonate, Lotemax, Alrex);
- Pred Forte (Prednisone acetate, EconoPred);
2.6. Mast cell stabilizers (MCS) and MCS combination eye drops.
Strengthen the mast cells to prevent them from releasing histamine and other chemicals that contribute to the symptoms of an
- Azelastine (Astelin);
- Cromal (Cromolyn, Crolom);
- Emedastine (Emadine);
- Ketotifen (Zaditor);
- Lodoxamide (Alomide);
- Nedocromil (Alocril);
- Olopatadine hydrochloride (Patanol);
- Pemirolast (Alamast);
2.7. Artificial tears/saline solution/ointment eye drops.
Lubricate, dilute and wash away offending allergens:
- Vision White Petroleum Mineral Oil;
- Tears Renewed;
- Liquifilm Tears;
2.8. Antibiotic eye drops.
Eye drops prescribed to treat bacterial infections:
- Cipmox (Ciprofloxacin, Cipro, Ciplox);
- Erythromycin (Erycette, Akne-Mycin);
- Gentamicin (Garamycin, Genoptic, Cidomycin);
- Ocuflox (Ofloxacin, Floxin);
- Sulfacetamide (Sulfex, Cetamide);
- Tobrex (Tobramycin);
- Vigamox (Monofloxacin);
- Zymar (Gatafloxin);
2.9. Antiviral eye drops.
Eye drops prescribed to treat herpes eye infections:
- Trifluridine (Viroptic);
- Idoxuridine (Herplex Liquifilm);
- Adenine arabinoside (Vira-A);
2.10. Glaucoma eye drops.
Eye drops prescribed in the treatment of glaucoma:
- Betagan (Levobunolol, AKBeta);
- Betoptic (Betaxolol, Kerlone);
- Dorzox (Dorzolamide, Trusopt);
- Latim (Latanoprost, Xalatan);
- Metipranolol (OptiPranolol);
- Timolol (Cosopt, Timoptic, Blocadren);
- Pilagan (Pilocarpine, Pilocar, Carpine);
3. Conditions of concern with eye drops
Eye drops can be a great benefit to most who suffer from eye allergies. However, some patients have
conditions that should be weighed before a decision is made on treatment. A physician should be informed of the following:
- Contact lens use;
- Diabetes. Decongestants can worsen this condition;
- Difficulty urinating due to an enlarged prostate. Drugs containing antihistamines can aggravate this condition;
- Eye disease or injury. Problems that stem from these conditions may be confused with side effects of the drug ophthalmic
- Glaucoma. Using antihistamines with decongestants can aggravate this condition;
- Heart disease. Using antihistamines with decongestants can aggravate some heart conditions;
- Hemophilia or other bleeding disorders. Anti-inflammatories can worsen these conditions;
- High blood pressure. Using antihistamines with decongestants can aggravate this condition;
- Drugs currently taken by the patient;
- Overactive thyroid. Drugs containing naphazoline can worsen this condition;
- Past allergic reactions to antihistamines, decongestants, aspirin and other drugs;
- Pregnancy or intention to become pregnant;
- Present bacterial infection of the eye, including pink eye (conjunctivitis);
4. Side effects of eye drops
Most side effects related to eye drop use are minor:
- Achy eyes;
- Blurry vision;
- Burning stinging eyes;
- Crusting in eyelids eyelashes or corner of eyes;
- Darkening of skin around eye lashes;
- Dilated pupils;
- Eye dryness;
- Eye puffiness;
- Lengthening or thickening of eye lashes;
- Nose dryness;
- Redness around eyes;
- Runny or stuffy nose;
- Sensation of foreign object in eyes;
- Taste of drops in throat;
- Tingling sensation in the eye;
- Watery eyes.