Apraclonidine 0.5% eye drops are used for the short-term treatment of glaucoma (a condition that can cause damage to the optic nerve and vision loss, usually due to increased pressure in the eye) in people who are taking other medications for this condition and still have increased pressure in the eye. Apraclonidine 1% eye drops are used to prevent or reduce increased pressure in the eye during and after certain types of laser eye surgery. Apraclonidine is in a class of medications called alpha-2-adrenergic agonists. It lowers the pressure in the eye by decreasing the amount of fluid produced within the eye.
Apraclonidine comes as a 0.5% solution (liquid) and a 1% solution to instill in the eye. The 0.5% solution is usually instilled in the affected eye(s) three times a day. The 1% solution is usually instilled in the eye that is being treated 1 hour before laser eye surgery and again immediately after the surgery. If you are using apraclonidine eye drops regularly, use them at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use apraclonidine eye drops exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of them or use them more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Apraclonidine eye drops are only for use in the eye. Do not swallow the eye drops.
Apraclonidine 0.5% eye drops may not continue to control your eye pressure after you have used them for a period of time, usually less than 1 month. Your doctor will examine you often while you are using apraclonidine 0.5% eye drops to see whether the eye drops are still working for you.
Apraclonidine 0.5% eye drops help to control glaucoma for a short period of time but do not cure the condition. Continue to use apraclonidine 0.5% eye drops even if you feel well. Do not stop using apraclonidine 0.5% eye drops without talking to your doctor.
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; eyedrops 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.
If you are using the 0.5% eye drops, replace and tighten the cap on the dropper bottle. Do not wipe or rinse the dropper tip. If you are using the 1% eye drops, discard the bottle and use a new bottle for your second dose.
Wash your hands to remove any medication.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
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 extra drops to make up for a missed dose.
red, swollen, itchy, or teary eyes
feeling that something is in the eye
irregular, slow, or pounding heartbeat
widened pupils (dark circles in the center of the eyes)
lack of usual coordination
lack of energy
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
changed sense of taste or smell
dry or burning nose
chest heaviness or burning
clammy or sweaty palms
decreased sexual desire
swelling of the face, eyes, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
shortness of breath
Apraclonidine eye drops may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
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 [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from light, excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
If someone swallows apraclonidine eye drops, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
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.
Last Revised - 04/15/2011
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.