pilocarpine (generic name)

This medicine is used to treat dry mouth from radiation treatment or from Sjogren's syndrome
(PYE loe KAR peen)
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What is this medicine?

PILOCARPINE (PYE loe KAR peen) can increase saliva in the mouth. This medicine is used to treat dry mouth from radiation treatment or from Sjogren's syndrome.

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

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • eye infection or other eye problems
  • glaucoma
  • heart disease
  • liver disease
  • lung or breathing disease, like asthma
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to pilocarpine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take 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, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
  • atropine
  • certain medicines for Alzheimer's disease like donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine
  • certain medicines for bladder problems like bethanecol, oxybutynin, tolterodine
  • certain medicines for Parkinson's disease like benztropine, trihexyphenidyl
  • certain medicines for quitting smoking like nicotine
  • certain medicines for stomach problems like dicyclomine, hyoscyamine
  • certain medicines for travel sickness like scopolamine
  • ipratropium
  • medicines for blood pressure or heart problems like metoprolol

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor for regular check ups. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse.

You may get blurry vision or have trouble telling how far something is from you. This may be a problem at night or when the lights are low. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs clear vision until you know how this medicine affects you.

If you sweat a lot, drink enough to replace fluids. Do not get dehydrated.

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:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives
  • breathing problems
  • confusion
  • irregular heartbeat
  • stomach pains
  • tremor
  • unusual blood pressure
  • unusually weak or tired
  • vomiting

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

  • changes in vision
  • chills, flushing
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • increased sweating
  • nausea
  • runny eyes, nose
  • urgent need to pass urine

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). 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 16, 2009
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