About hypromellose eye drops
|Type of medicine||Eye lubricant|
|Used for||Tear deficiency|
|Also called||Isopto Alkaline®
|Available as||Eye drops and single dose units|
Hypromellose eye drops are also known as 'artificial tears' and are used in the eye to relieve dryness and irritation, particularly where the dryness is caused by a reduced flow of tears.
Hypromellose can also be used as a lubricant for artificial eyes and to moisten hard contact lenses.
Before using hypromellose eye drops
Before using hypromellose make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you wear soft contact lenses.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other eye preparation.
How to use hypromellose eye drops
- Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack.
- Apply the drops three or four times a day unless you have been told otherwise by your doctor. For very dry eyes, you may need to use these drops every hour.
How to use hypromellose eye drops:
- Wash your hands well before use.
- Remove the cap (or the tip of the unit if you are using a single-use dose unit).
- Tilt your head back a little and pull the lower lid of your eye out to form a pocket.
- Hold the bottle (or single-use dose unit) upside down near to your eye. Try not to touch your eye as you do this.
- Apply enough pressure to release one drop into your eye.
- Close your eye for a minute or two.
- Repeat the process in your other eye if you have been told to use the drops in both eyes.
- Replace the cap (or if you are using the single-use dose unit, throw it away).
Getting the most from your treatment
- If you are using any other eye drops or eye ointments, leave at least five minutes between applying each preparation.
- If you wear contact lenses, read the leaflet supplied with the drops for instructions. Some brands of hypromellose drops recommend that soft contact lenses are not worn while using the drops, because the preservative used may interfere with the lenses.
- When first applied, hypromellose may cause blurred vision. Do not drive or use tools or machines until your vision is clear.
Can hypromellose eye drops cause problems?
Hypromellose can occasionally cause a mild stinging sensation when you first start using the drops. If this continues, or if you experience any changes in your eyes or eyesight, stop using hypromellose and speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
How to store hypromellose eye drops
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
- Eye drops only keep for 4 weeks once the bottle has been opened. Make sure you have a fresh supply.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Artelac® 10ml hypromellose 0.32% with preservative; Manufacturer's PIL, Artelac® 10ml hypromellose 0.32% with preservative, Bausch & Lomb U.K Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated March 2008.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Tears Naturale®; Manufacturer's PIL, Tears Naturale®, Alcon Laboratories (U.K) Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated August 2010.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Isopto Plain® 0.5%; Manufacturer's PIL, Isopto Plain® 0.5%, Alcon Laboratories (U.K) Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated February 2008.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Prof Cathy Jackson