Pilocarpine(1% ) Uses Pilocarpine is used in the form of eye drops to treat increased pressure in the eyes with or without visual problem (glaucoma) and to dilate the pupil of the eye. As a tablet, it is used to treat dry mouth following cancer radiotherapy of the head or neck and dry mouth and eyes seen in Sjögren’s syndrome (disease in which the patient’s own immune system destroys the cells of salivary and tear glands). How it works Pilocarpine belongs to a class of drug called as cholinergic agonist that acts by increasing the activity of chemical acetylcholine, thereby, increasing the secretion from various glands including salivary glands and tear glands. Due to its cholinergic effect, it also constricts the pupil of the eye and improves the outflow of aqueous humor (fluid in within the eye) contributing to reduction in eyeball pressure. Dosage Always follow the instructions of doctor regarding the dosage and duration. Xerostomia (dry mouth): 5 mg thrice daily, maximum of 30 mg daily. Sjogren’s syndrome: 5 mg four times daily, maximum of 30 mg daily.
Glaucoma: one or two drop every 6 hrs. Dilatation of pupil: one drop every five minutes until the effect is counteracted. Common side effects Headache, dizziness, excessive secretion of tears (lacrimation), blurred vision, burning sensation around the eye, irritation and redness of the whites of eyes (conjunctivitis), eye pain, flushing, high blood pressure, thumping, pounding and fluttering sensation in the chest (palpitations), runny nose, indigestion (dyspepsia), diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased salivation, sweating, allergic reactions including rash, itching of skin (pruritus), pale red, raised itchy skin (urticarial), increased urinary frequency, flu-like symptoms, weakness (asthenia), chills, fatigue, runny nose. Who should not take Patients who are allergic to pilocarpine or to any of its ingredients. Patients with uncontrolled heart and kidney disease, uncontrolled asthma or urinary obstruction. Patients with acute iritis (painful inflammation of the iris of the eyes). Patients with anterior uveitis (inflammation of uvea). Patients with secondary glaucoma. Patients who wear soft contact lens. Further information Summary of product characteristics. http://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/5786