Cyclopentolate

Cyclopentolate is used to dilate the pupils before eye examinations or surgeries. Recovery of normal pupil function may take up to 24 hours.

Cyclopentolate Overview

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Cyclopentolate is a prescription medication used to dilate (widen) the pupil and prevent the eye from focusing. It is used before examinations or surgeries of the eye.

Cyclopentolate belongs to a group of drugs called anticholinergic agents. These work by relaxing the muscle of the eye that causes the pupil to dilate.

This medication comes in solution form and is instilled directly into the eyes.

Common side effects of cyclopentolate include redness, irritation, and sensitivity to light.

Cyclopentolate can also cause blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how cyclopentolate affects you.

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Cyclopentolate Cautionary Labels

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Uses of Cyclopentolate

Cyclopentolate is a prescription medication used to dilate (widen) the pupil and prevent the eye from focusing. It is used before examinations or surgeries of the eye.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Cyclopentolate Brand Names

Cyclopentolate may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Cyclopentolate Drug Class

Cyclopentolate is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Cyclopentolate

Serious side effects have been reported with cyclopentolate. See the “Cyclopentolate Precautions” section.

Common side effects of cyclopentolate include the following:

  • increased pressure in the eye
  • burning in the eye
  • sensitivity to light
  • blurred vision
  • eye irritation
  • redness of the eye and/or eye lashes

This is not a complete list of cyclopentolate side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Cyclopentolate Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • other eye drops that dilate the pupil such as atropine (Aztreza, IsoptoAtropine)
  • carbachol (Miostat, Carbastat)
  • pilocarpine (Salagen, Isopto Carpine, Pilocar, Ocusert Pilo)

This is not a complete list of cyclopentolate drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Cyclopentolate Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with cyclopentolate including the following:

  • psychotic reactions and behavioral changes. These reactions are more likely to occur in children. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of psychotic reactions and behavioral changes:
    • incoherent speech
    • restlessness
    • hallucinations
    • hyperactivity
    • seizures
    • disorientation as to time and place
    • failure to recognize people

Other toxic manifestations of anticholinergic drugs such as cyclopentolate are skin rash, abdominal distention in infants, unusual drowsiness, tachycardia, hyperpyrexia, urinary retention, diminished gastrointestinal motility, and decreased secretion in salivary and sweat glands, the throat, and nasal passages.

Cyclopentolate can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how cyclopentolate affects you.

Do not take cyclopentolate if you:

  • are allergic to cyclopentolate or to any of its ingredients
  • have narrow angles due to glaucoma or any other cause

Cyclopentolate Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of cyclopentolate, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking cyclopentolate, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to cyclopentolate or to any of its ingredients
  • have or have had glaucoma or any other eye disease
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Cyclopentolate and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X - are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Cyclopentolate falls into category C. No studies have been done in animals, and no well-controlled studies have been done in pregnant women. Cyclopentolate should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

Cyclopentolate and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if cyclopentolate crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using cyclopentolate.

Cyclopentolate Usage

Take cyclopentolate exactly as prescribed.

This medication comes in solution form and is instilled directly into the eye. It is usually administered by a healthcare provider immediately prior to eye examinations or procedures.

Cyclopentolate Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication

The recommended dose of cyclopentolate for adults and children is 1 or 2 drops into the eye; the dose may be repeated in 5 to 10 minutes.

Cyclopentolate Overdose

If you take too much cyclopentolate, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If cyclpentolate is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Forms of Medication


Other Requirements

Store cyclopentolate between 8º and 27ºC (46º and 80ºF).

Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Cyclopentolate FDA Warning