- These eye drops allow your doctor to examine your eye more easily.
- Atropine will cause blurred vision which may last for several hours. Do not drive or use tools or machines until your vision is clear again.
About atropine eye drops
|Type of medicine ||Antimuscarinic |
|Used for ||To make the pupil of your eye larger and relax the muscles in your eye |
|Also called ||Minims® Atropine Sulphate |
|Available as ||Bottles of eye drops and single-dose eye drops (Minims®) |
Atropine makes the pupil of your eye larger and relaxes the muscles in your eye. These things make it easier for your eye to be examined and your vision tested. It is commonly prescribed for young children who need eye tests.
Atropine may also have been prescribed for you alongside other drops to treat anterior uveitis. This is a painful eye condition caused by inflammation within the eye. By making your pupil larger and relaxing the muscles in your eye, this reduces the pain and allows the inflamed part of your eye to rest and recover.
Before using atropine eye drops
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you use these drops it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any eye drops.
- If you normally wear contact lenses.
- If you have been told you have a higher than normal pressure in your eye, or if you have glaucoma.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
How to use atropine eye drops
Atropine eye drops will generally be administered for you, but if you are asked to put the drops in yourself, then:
- First wash your hands.
- Remove the cap (or the tip of the unit if you are using Minims®).
- Tilt your head back a little and pull the lower lid of your eye downwards to form a pocket.
- Hold the bottle (or Minims®) 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, and press gently on the side of your nose where the corner of your eye meets your nose. This helps to stop the drop from draining away and keeps it in your eye.
- 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 Minims®, throw it away).
Getting the most from your treatment
- Before you use these eye drops, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about atropine and a full list of possible side-effects from using it.
- Take care not to touch the tip of the dropper with your eye, fingers, or any other surface. This will help to prevent the risk of infection.
- Atropine will cause blurred vision which may last for some time. Make sure you can see clearly again before you drive, or use tools or machines.
- If you are using any other eye drops or ointments, leave about ten minutes between applying each one.
- If you normally wear contact lenses, do not wear them again until your doctor advises you do so. There are two reasons for this - using atropine will mean you are not able to see clearly, and also bottles of eye drops contain a preservative which can affect soft contact lenses.
Can atropine eye drops cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Possible atropine side-effects ||What can I do if I experience this? |
|Eye irritation such as mild stinging ||This should soon pass |
|Blurred vision ||This may last several hours. Do not drive or operate machinery until your vision is clear again |
|Other less common effects: dry mouth, flushing, dry skin, constipation, difficulties passing urine, and a fast heartbeat ||These should soon pass, but if you become concerned about any, speak with your doctor |
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to these drops, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store atropine 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 four weeks once the bottle has been opened so throw away the bottle after this time, even if there is some solution left. Never keep opened bottles of eye drops to use later. This will help to prevent the risk of eye infections.
- Minims® contain one dose of atropine only. Do not store or re-use opened units to use at a later time.