Medicines & Dry Eye Syndrome


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Dry eye syndrome or keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a very common eye condition affecting more than 20 million adults in the United States. It is a term used to describe dryness of the eyes sufficiently severe to cause symptoms and affect your quality of life.

Eye dryness occurs when your tears are insufficient in quantity, when your tears are not of the right quality or when your tears are not spread across the surface of your eye properly. In general, this condition can be attributed to problems with one (or more) of the following tissues: lacrimal glands, meibomian glands, conjunctiva and eyelids.

However, it can be easy to overlook the fact that ocular dryness is a well-recognized side effect of many medications. In general, these medications affect and reduce tear production (or more specifically, production of water that constitutes the aqueous layer) from the lacrimal glands, resulting in dryness of the eyes. Below is a non-exhaustive list of common medicines and drugs that can cause dry eyes as one of their reported side effects.


Acebutolol

Labetolol

Acetophenazine

Lithium

Albuterol

 

Amitriptyline

Mesoridazine

Antazoline

Methdilazine

Atenolol

Methotrexate

Atropine

Methotrimeprazine

Azatadine

Methoxsalen

 

Methscopolamine

Bendroflumethiazide

Methyclothiadize

Benzthiazide

Methylthiouracil

Brimonidine tartrate

Metolazone

Brompheniramine

Metoprolol

Busulfan

 

Butaperazine

Nadolol

 

Nortriptyline

Carbinoxamine

 

Carphenazine

Oxprenolol

Chlorisondamine

 

Chlorothiazide

Pentazocine

Chlorpheniramine

Perazine

Chlorpromazine

Perphenazine

Clemastine

Pheniramine

Clonidine

Pimozide

 

Pindolol

Desipramine

Piperacetazine

Dexbrompheniramine

Polythiazide

Dexchlorpheniramine

Practolol

Diethazine

Prochlorperazine

Dimethindene

Promazine

Diphenhydramine

Promethazine

Diphenylpyraline

Propriomazine

Disopyramide

Propranolol

Dronabinol

Protriptyline

 

Pyrilamine

Emedastine

 

Ethopropazine

Quinethazone

Etretinate

 

 

Scopolamine

Fluphenazine

 

 

Thiethylperazine

Hexamethonium

Thiopropazate

Homatropine

Thioproperazine

Hydrochlorothiazide

Thioridazine

Hydroflumethiazide

Timolol

 

Tolterodine

Imipramine

Trichlormethiazide

Indapamide

Trifluoperazine

Ipratropium bromide

Trioxsalen

Isotretinoin

Triprolidine


If you are experiencing symptoms of dryness (irritation, scratchiness, blurriness, foreign body sensation, grittiness), please consult the information sheet for the medications that you are on. The dryness that you are feeling in your eyes may actually be due to those pills and tablets that you have been taking for your other ailments.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from drug-induced eye dryness, obtain a consult from your family physician. Please do not stop any of your medicines before seeking advice. Your family physician may be able to suggest alternative medicines that do not affect your eyes so much.




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