Carmellose sodium eye drops act as artificial tears. They make dry eyes feel more comfortable.
Use the drops three or four times a day, or more often if required.
If your vision becomes blurred for a short while after using the drops, do not drive until you can see clearly again.
About carmellose sodium
|Type of medicine||Eye lubricant|
|Used for||Dry eyes|
|Also called||Carmize®; Celluvisc®; Optive®; Melophthal®|
|Available as||Eye drops and single-use units|
Carmellose sodium eye drops are also known as 'artificial tears'. They are used to relieve eye dryness and soreness. They moisten, soothe and lubricate the surface of your eye, making it feel more comfortable.
The drops are available on prescription, or you can buy them without a prescription at a pharmacy.
Before using carmellose sodium
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using the eye drops it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you wear soft contact lenses.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a preservative in eye drops.
How to use carmellose sodium eye drops
- Wash your hands well before you use the drops.
- Remove the cap from the bottle (or the tip of the unit if you are using a single-use unit).
- Tilt your head back a little and pull the lower lid of your eye downwards to form a pocket.
- Hold the bottle (or single-use unit) upside down near to your eye. Try not to touch your eye as you do this.
- Apply enough pressure to release one drop into your eye. Only use a second drop if the first drop missed going into your eye.
- Close your eye for a minute or two, and press gently on the side of your nose where the corner of your eye meets your nose. This helps to stop the drop from draining away and keeps it in your eye.
- Repeat the process in your other eye if you have been told to use the drops in both eyes.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Before you start using the eye drops, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet supplied with the pack. It will give you more information about using the drops and will provide a full list of the side-effects which you may experience.
- Use one drop into the eye (or eyes) affected by dryness. Many people find it is sufficient to use the drops three or four times a day, but you can use the drops more frequently if your eyes are very dry. If the drops have been prescribed for you, then follow the directions given by your doctor.
- Please take care that the dropper doesn't touch your eye, your fingers, or any other surface. This could contaminate the drops left in the bottle.
- If you forget to use the drops at your 'usual' time, do not worry, just put them in when you remember. Do not 'double up' the number of drops you use to make up for forgetting to use them.
- When first put in, eye drops may cause blurred vision. This should quickly clear. Make sure you can see clearly again before you drive, or use tools or machines.
- If you are using any other eye drops or ointments, leave about ten minutes between applying each one. It is usually recommended that you use the carmellose sodium drops last. This is so that the drops stay in contact with your eye and lubricate it for as long as possible.
- Do not wear soft contact lenses while you are using the drops unless your doctor or pharmacist has advised you otherwise. This is because there is a preservative in bottles of eye drops which can affect soft contact lenses. There is no preservative in the single-use units.
- If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, see your doctor for advice.
Can carmellose sodium eye drops cause problems?
The eye drops can occasionally cause mild eye irritation or stinging, but this usually soon passes and not everyone will experience it. If you experience any other eye problems, especially if you think they may be due to the drops, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
How to store carmellose sodium eye drops
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
- Eye drops in bottles only keep for four weeks once the container has been opened, so do not use the drops if the bottle has been open for longer than this. This helps to reduce the risk of eye infection.
- Carmize® and Celluvisc® single-dose units should be used as soon as they are opened. Do not store an opened unit to use later. This is because the units do not contain any preservative. Melophthal® dose units are resealable and can be used for up to 12 hours after they have been opened.
Important information about all medicines
Make sure that the person supplying this medicine knows about any other medicines that you are using. This includes medicines you buy and herbal and homeopathic medicines.
If you suspect that someone might have swallowed some of this medicine, contact your local accident and emergency department for advice.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Celluvisc® 0.5% w/v, eye drops, solution; Allergan Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated May 2014.
- British National Formulary; 68th Edition (Sep 2014) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Helen Huins