Oxymetazoline ophthalmic: what it is and what its effects are

Oxymetazoline ophthalmic is a sympathomimetic drug, with direct action with α-agonist activity. It produces a vasoconstriction that is due to the direct action of the drug on the α-2a receptors of the vascular endothelium.

It is administered topically in the eye to cause local vasoconstriction in the conjunctival blood vessels. It is characterized by a rapid onset of action, which begins within a few minutes.

However, the effect has a relatively long duration of six or more hours. In addition, it has a low tendency to the rebound effect of congestion.

Indications of ophthalmic oxymetazoline

This medicine It is indicated for the symptomatic relief of the red eye. So it is used when there are mild eye irritations, due to any cause such as allergies, eye fatigue or irritating factors among others.

On the other hand, in adults and children over 6 years old, The pattern is one or two drops every eight hours in the affected conjunctival sac. For proper administration, you should separate the eyelids and instill a drop inside the lower eyelid, while directing the view upwards.

It is advisable not to touch the eye or fingers with the dropper. Also, keep your eye open and don't blink for a few seconds. However, if after three days of treatment, the symptoms persist, you should suppress the application of the drops and see a doctor.

When is ophthalmic oxymetazoline contraindicated?

Oxymetazoline Ophthalmic It is contraindicated in cases of hypersensitivity to this active substance, to any of the excipients of the formulation or to other sympathomimetics.

It is also not indicated in patients with closed angle glaucoma or in people who have a predisposition to have it. Similarly, it is not indicated in uncontrolled hypertensive patients, cardiovascular diseases, hyperglycemia and hypothyroidism.

What precautions should be taken with the use of ophthalmic oxiematzoline?

Frequent or prolonged use It can lead to greater absorption of the drug, with possible effects at a general level. Special care must be taken in patients who are in any of the following situations:

However, patients who abuse ophthalmic oxymetazoline They may become dependent on the medication to relieve their chronic congestion. On the other hand, if you wear contact lenses, you should take them off before using this compound and wait 15 or 20 minutes.

In situations of pregnancy and lactation, it must be said It is unknown if oxymetazoline ophthalmic can cause fetal harm. In addition, it is also ignored if it is excreted with breast milk, therefore, the possible systemic absorption must be taken into account.

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Side effects

Occasional adverse effects have been reported with oxymetazoline ophthalmic like irritation and eye pain. However, excessive or very continuous doses can produce systemic absorption and lead to excessive CNS stimulation or paradoxical depression, cardiovascular collapse, shock and even coma.

An inhibition of CNS functions may also appear, such as drowsiness, decreased body temperature, hypotension, apnea and loss of consciousness.

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Drug interactions

There are pharmacological interactions when ophthalmic oxymetazoline is used in situations such as:

  • People who are taking, or have taken during the last two weeks, tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase or methyldopa inhibitors.
  • Patients who are being treated with phenothiazine or medications to treat asthma, such as adrenergic bronchodilators.
  • When another eye drops are used at the same time: In these cases, you must wait at least 5 minutes between the administration of one and the other.

Finally, mention that, orOnce the container is opened, you should not use it after 28 days. On the other hand, for its correct conservation, exposure to light and temperatures above 28 degrees must be avoided.


Oxymetazoline ophthalmic is used for the relief of red eye symptoms. Its use is advised for two or three days, after which, if there is no improvement, you should go to a health professional.