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[Generical name: phenylephrine ophthalmic eye drops; fen-ill EFF-rin]
Names of brands: AK-Dilate, Altafrin, Mydfrin, Neofrin
Classifications of drugs: mydriatics, ophthalmic antihistamines, and decongestants

What is Altafrin?

Phenylephrine, a decongestant which shrinks blood vessels.Altafrin (for eye irritation) can be used to ease the redness of the eyes, dryness, burning, and irritation caused by the sun, wind, and other irritating factors.Prescription-strength Altafrin is used to constrict blood vessels in the eye and to dilate (make the pupil bigger) for conditions such as glaucoma, before surgery, and before eye examinations.Altafrin is also employed for other purposes that are not covered in this medication guide.

Side effects of Altafrin

See a doctor immediately. If you experience any of the following symptoms that indicate reactions to an allergen, such as hives, you may have difficulty breathing or swelling of your lips, face, and tongue.While the risk of adverse side effects can be very low when using Altafrin in the eyes, adverse reactions may occur if the medication is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Stop taking this medication and contact your doctor immediately if you suffer from:

  • Heart rate that is irregular or fast;
  • Sweating, tremors;
  • Pale skin tone, lightheaded sensation;
  • An extreme headache that causes a buzzing sensation within your ears anxiety, breathing problems severe headache, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, and shortness of breath
  • Chest discomfort or pressure that is spreading to your shoulder or jaw.

More minor side effects might be more likely, or you could not experience any whatsoever.This is not a comprehensive list of possible side effects, and other effects may also be present. Consult your physician for advice regarding medical adverse effects. You can report any side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


It is not recommended to take Altafrin when you suffer from narrow-angle glaucoma.

Before you take this drug

It is not recommended to take Altafrin if you have an allergy to it or suffer from narrow-angle glaucoma.Do not take Altafrin without a doctor's recommendation. If you suffer from

  • An eye infection;
  • An eye injury;
  • If you've recently undergone eye surgery,

Any of the above conditions can cause your eyes to absorb Altafrin in your body. This could result in harmful effects on the heart.

Consult a physician or pharmacist about whether it is safe to take Altafrin for any other medical condition, particularly:

  • High blood pressure;
  • Any heart condition of any kind;
  • Coronary artery diseases (hardened coronary arteries)
  • Asthma or sulfite allergies.

FDA pregnant category C. It isn't known whether Altafrin can affect a newborn baby. Inform your doctor if you are expecting or planning to become pregnant while taking this medication.It isn't known if the ophthalmic phenylephrine is absorbed into breast milk or whether it is harmful to the baby who is nursing. Consult your physician if you are breastfeeding a child.Avoid giving this medication to children without medical guidance.

How to take Altafrin?

Follow the directions on the label or as directed by your physician. Don't use in greater than smaller quantities or for longer than is recommended.Wash your hands thoroughly prior to applying drop drops to your eyes.

To apply drops to the eyes:

  • Turn your head slightly back and then pull your lower eyelids to create a tiny pocket. Keep the dropper in front of the eye, with the tip downward. Take a look towards the sky off the dropper and squeeze out the drop.
  • You can close your eyes for two or three minutes with your head tilted down without blinking or squinting. Press your finger gently to the inside of your eye for between 2 and 3 minutes to stop the fluid from draining into the tear duct.
  • Only use the amount of drops your doctor prescribed, or as indicated on the label of your medicine. If you are using several drops at once, you should wait approximately 5 minutes between each drop.
  • At least 10 minutes before applying the other drops for your eyes that your medical professional has advised you to use.

Don't touch the tip of your eyedropper or put it directly in your eyes. Drops that have been contaminated could affect your eyes and cause serious vision issues.Don't use eye drops if it appears that the liquid is changing colour or has particles present. Contact your pharmacist to inquire about the latest medication.The blood pressure of your patient may need to be monitored when you take Altafrin.Do not take this medication for more than three consecutive days. Consult your doctor if symptoms do not improve or if they become worse when you use Altafrin.The long-term use of phenylephrine as an ophthalmic could cause damage to blood vessels (veins and arteries) in the eye.Keep the bottle at room temperature, free of heat, moisture, and light. Close the bottle when not being used.

Do I be concerned if I miss a dose?

Take the dose you missed immediately after you remember. Don't miss any missed doses if you are nearing the time to take the next dose. Don't take extra medication to replace the missed dose.

What will happen if I take excessively?

A dose of Altafrin that is overdosed is not thought to be a danger. Get medical attention immediately, or contact the poison help line at 1-800-222-1222, in the event that someone has swallowed the drug accidentally.

What should be avoided?

Avoid using Altafrin when using contact lenses. Altafrin could contain a preservative that can alter the colour of contact lenses. Make sure you wait at least 15 minutes following the use of this drug before placing it in the contact lens.The medicine can cause blurred vision and could affect your reaction. Be cautious if you drive or engage in any activity that requires you to be able to see clearly.

Interaction with other drugs

Discuss with your physician if you were taking an MAO inhibitor within the last 21 days. MAO inhibitors are isocarboxazid, the linezolid drug, Methylene Blue injection rasagiline, and phenelzine, as well as tranylcypromine and others.Other medications can interfere with phenylephrine eye drops, such as prescription and over-the-counter medicine, vitamins, and herbal products. Inform your health professionals about the medicines you are taking in the present and any medication you stop or start using.