Atropine Eye Drops
Atropine Eye Drops
It is type of eye drops that is used to dilute or enlarge the pupil of the eye. This action is called mydriasis. It is used also to inhibit accommodation and make the patient unable to focus for near tasks. This action is called cycloplegia.
It consists mainly of atropine sulphate with benzalkonium chloride as a preservative. It comes in both eye drops and eye ointment. The action of this eye drop can last from 1 to 2 weeks.
It should be stored between 15- 25°C ( 59-86°F)and keep it tightly closed. You should always KEEP it and any other medications away from the children and pets.
How does it dilate Pupil?
There are two muscles in the pupil, one is called sphincter papillae that is responsible for constriction of the pupil and the other is called dilutor pupillae which will dilute the pupil. Sphincter pupillae is innervated by a special nervous system called parasympethatic nervous system. This system will innervate sphincter papillae through a special receptor called muscarinic receptor.
Atropine which is called anti-muscarinic drug will act to inhibit this these receptors from receiving innervation from parasympathetic system, so the sphincter will not constrict, making the pupil to dilute because there is no opposing action to dilutor pupilla.
How does Atropine Eye Drops inhibit accommodation?
In the same mechanism, it will also act on ciliary muscle which is responsible for accommodation.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding mother
The safety of atropine during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established. You should seek medical advice about this issue from your doctor.
What are the indications of Atropine Eye Drop
1- Dilute the eye for fundus examination.
2- Dilute the eye for ocular surgeries like cataract surgery, retina laser surgeries and vitrectomy.
3- In patient with uveitis, to decrease pain through cycloplegia and also to dilute the eye so to inhibit the formation of adhesions between the iris and the lens.
4- In children examination to induce both cycloplegia and mydriasis for refraction. This type of refraction is called cyclo-refraction and is done mainly for children.
5- In case of amblyopia and the child is not cooperative with eye patching. Atropine can be an alternative to patching.
6- In case of blood in the anterior chamber, due to trauma. It can be used to decrease the amount of bleeding.
7- In some types of glaucoma which is called malignant glaucoma.
Contraindications of Atropine Eye Drops
1- To patients who are allergic to belladonna alkaloids.
2- To glaucoma patients especially with angle closure glaucoma,because it can worsen the condition.
3- In patients with known history of sensitivity to atropine. This sensitivity can cause irregular and fast heart rate, dry skin and mouth.
4- Should not be used with soft contact lens because it has benzalkonium which will be participated on the contact lenses causing discoloration of the lens.
5- Should be used with caution when you drive because it can blurred your vision especially for near and also it can make you more sensitive to light. It is advisable not to drive car when you are on atropine.
Side Effects of Atropine Eye Drops
Side effects of atropine eye drops can range from mild to severe. Theses side effects can occur with normal dose in sensitive people or it can occur in overdose.
In case you experience any of these side effects, you should stop using atropine and seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible.
Mild Side Effects
In these mild side effects you can talk to your doctor to ask about them.
1- Blurred vision.
2- Light sensitivity or photophobia.
3- Burning or stinging sensation especially when applying eye drops.
4- Conjunctival irritation.
Severe Side Effects
When you need to seek emergency medical attention.
1- Eye pain due to raised intraocular pressure because it can induce angle closure glaucoma in some patients.
2- Allergic symptoms like difficulty breathing, swelling of your eyelid, lips, tongue, or face and rash.
3- Irregularities in heart beats.
4- Fast heart beats.
5- Hallucinations or unusual behavior especially in children.
6- Dry mouth and skin.
7- Flushing skin.
12- Difficult urination.