phenylephrine ophthalmic (generic name)

AK-Dilate (brand name)

It acts as a decongestant for the eyes
(fen il EF rin)
Table of Contents
powered by healthline

Average Ratings

What is this medicine?

PHENYLEPHRINE (fen il EF rin) acts as a decongestant for the eyes. It is used to treat several different eye problems. This medicine is also used in the eye to widen your pupils, so they won't respond to light during diagnostic procedures.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:
  • head injury or disease
  • heart disease
  • glaucoma
  • high blood pressure
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to phenylephrine, sulfites, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is only for use in the eye. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash hands before and after use. Tilt your head back and pull your lower eyelid down to form a pouch. Squeeze the prescribed number of drops into the pouch. Do not blink for 30 seconds. Close the eye for a few moments to spread the drops and apply gentle finger pressure to the inner corner of the eye for 1 to 2 minutes. Try not to touch the tip of the dropper to your eye, fingertips, or other surface. Do not use your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • atropine
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicine for blood pressure

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse. Do not use this medicine for longer than directed by your doctor or health care professional.

You may get blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery or do anything that needs clear vision until you know how this medicine affects you.

If this medicine make your eyes sensitive to light, wear sunglasses and avoid bright sun or other bright lights.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • breathing problems
  • chest pain or palpitations
  • eye pain, vision changes including floating spots
  • fast, irregular heartbeat
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • blurred vision or stinging in the eyes
  • headache

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store between 2 and 27 degrees C (36 and 80 degrees F). Do not freeze. Protect from light. Do not use if solution is brown or contains a precipitate. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: July 20, 2009
Licensed from
Top of page
General Drug Tools
General Drug Tools view all tools
Tools for
Healthy Living
Tools for Healthy Living view all tools
Search Tools
Search Tools view all tools
Insurance Plan Tools
Insurance Plan Tools view all tools

What is a reference number?

When you register on this site, you are assigned a reference number. This number contains your profile information and helps UnitedHealthcare identify you when you come back to the site.

If you searched for a plan on this site in a previous session, you might already have a reference number. This number will contain any information you saved about plans and prescription drugs. To use that reference number, click on the "Change or view saved information" link below.

You can retrieve information from previous visits to this site, such as saved drug lists and Plan Selector information.