Artelac eye drops (Hypromellose)

How does it work?

Artelac eye drops contain the active ingredient hypromellose, which is a type of medicine known as an eye lubricant. (NB. Hypromellose eye drops are also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.)

Hypromellose is a synthetic polymer that forms a film on the surface of the eye (cornea). It produces a transparent, lubricating and moistening film on the surface of the eye and is used as artificial tears.

Hypromellose eye drops provide soothing relief from the symptoms of dry eyes, such as soreness, irritation or a gritty sensation. These may be caused by your eye not producing enough tears to keep the eye moist, or by things such as certain medical conditions or treatments, prolonged use of computer screens (where you tend to blink less and thus not lubricate the eyes sufficiently), or drying atmospheric conditions such as air-conditioning, central heating or atmospheric pollution.

Artelac eye drops come in multi-dose bottles that contain a preservative and as single-dose units (SDUs) that are preservative-free. The SDUs can be used by people who wear rigid or gas permeable contact lenses, or who are sensitive to preservatives.

What is it used for?

  • Dry eye conditions.
  • Moistening hard contact lenses and lubricating artificial eyes.


  • Wash your hands before using the eye drops.
  • Artelac SDUs are sterile and preservative-free. Each unit is for single use only. There should be enough in each dose unit to treat both eyes if required. Once you have put the drops in you should throw away the dose unit, even if there is some medicine left in it.
  • Artelac multi-dose bottles contain the preservative benzalkonium chloride and are sterile until opened. Any remaining medicine should be carefully disposed of four weeks after the first opening, as it may be contaminated with dirt or germs. You may find it helpful to write the date of first opening on the bottle. Dispose of carefully, preferably by returning them to your pharmacy. Artelac multi-dose bottles are not suitable for people who wear soft contact lenses because the benzalkonium chloride can be absorbed by soft contact lenses and cause eye irritation.
  • To avoid introducing germs into the eyes, don’t allow the open end of the SDU or the dropper tip to touch your eye or anything else.
  • After putting in the eye drops you may get slightly blurred vision or a mild stinging sensation. This should clear up within 15 minutes. If your vision is affected it is recommended that you do not drive or use any machinery until your vision has cleared.
  • If your eye irritation persists or gets worse after using these drops, or you experience a headache, eye pain, vision changes or continued redness, you should stop using these eye drops and consult your doctor.

Not to be used in

  • Artelac multi-dose bottles contain the preservative benzalkonium chloride and are not suitable for people who wear soft contact lenses.

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.

If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.

  • Hypromellose is not absorbed into the body after application to the eye and is therefore unlikely to have any harmful effect when used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, as this has not been fully established, the manufacturer states that these drops should be used with caution by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and only on the advice of a doctor.

Side effects

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect. The following side effects are known to be associated with this medicine.

  • Temporary blurred vision after putting the drops in.
  • Mild stinging after putting the drops in.

This list may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

If you are using any other medicines it is important to seek advice from your pharmacist before using this one as well, to make sure the combination is safe.

If you are using more than one type of eye drop you should administer them at least five minutes apart, to prevent the second drop washing away the first. Use eye gels or ointments last.

This medicine has not been reported to affect any other medicines.

Other medicines containing the same active ingredient

Hydromoor eye drops Isopto alkaline eye dropsIsopto plain eye drops

Hypromellose eye drops are also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.