Tropicamide eye drops (Mydriacyl, Minims Tropicamide)

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Tropicamide eye drops allow your doctor to examine your eye more easily.

The drops can cause blurred vision which may last for several hours. Do not drive or use tools or machines until your vision is clear again.

Type of medicineAntimuscarinic eye drops
Used forTo help a doctor or eye specialist examine your eye
Also calledMydriacyl®; Minims® Tropicamide
Also Mydriasert® (which contains tropicamide and phenylephrine)
Available asBottles of eye drops and single-dose units (Minims®)

Tropicamide eye drops make the pupil of your eye larger and relax the muscles in your eye. These things make it easier for your eye to be examined and your vision tested. Tropicamide eye drops may also be used if you are having surgery on your eye.

To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you use the drops it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any eye drops.
  • If you have been told you have a higher than normal pressure in your eye, or if you have glaucoma.
  • If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Tropicamide eye drops will generally be administered for you about 15-20 minutes before your eye is examined, but if you are asked to put the drops in yourself, then:

  1. Wash your hands well before you use the drops.
  2. Remove the cap (or twist off the tip of the unit if you are using a Minims® single-dose unit).
  3. Tilt your head back a little and pull the lower lid of your eye out to form a pocket.
  4. Hold the bottle (or single-dose unit) upside down near to your eye. Try not to touch your eye as you do this.
  5. Apply enough pressure to release one drop into your eye. Only use a second drop if the first drop missed going into your eye.
  6. 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.
  7. Repeat the process in your other eye if you have been told to use the drops in both eyes. (The contents of one single-dose Minims® are enough for both eyes.)
  8. Wash your hands again.
  • Before you start using the eye drops, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from the pack. It will give you more information about the drops and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from using them.
  • Take care not to touch your eye, fingers, or any other surface with the dropper of the bottle. This will help to prevent any risk of infection.
  • Tropicamide will cause blurred vision which may last for some time. 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. This is to prevent more liquid going into your eye than it can handle. Otherwise the drops will overflow from your eye and may not have the intended effect.
  • If you normally wear contact lenses, do not wear them again until your doctor advises you do so. There are two reasons for this - using tropicamide will mean you are not able to see clearly, and also bottles of eye drops contain a preservative which can affect some soft contact lenses.

Along with their useful effects, eye drops can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the ones associated with tropicamide eye drops. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your drops. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Possible tropicamide side-effectsWhat can I do if I experience this?
Eye irritation such as mild stinging, and sensitivity to lightThese will pass as the effect of the drops wears off. Wearing dark glasses for a short while may help
Blurred vision, feeling dizzy or faintThis may last several hours after using the eye drops. Do not drive or use tools or machines until your vision is clear again and your reactions are normal
Headache, feeling sickThese should soon pass, but if you become concerned speak with your doctor

Occasionally people can be allergic to eye drops, particularly if the eye drops contain a preservative. If you notice a rash around your eyes, or any swelling or itching, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Eye drops only keep for a short while once the bottle has been opened so throw away the bottle after you have finished using the drops, even if there is some solution left. Never keep opened bottles of eye drops to use later. This will help to prevent the risk of eye infections.
  • Minims® contain one dose of tropicamide only. Do not store or re-use opened units to use at a later time.

If you buy any medicines check with a pharmacist that they are safe to use with your other medicines.

Never use more than the recommended dose.

If you suspect that someone has swallowed some of this medicine by accident, contact the accident and emergency department of your local hospital for advice.

If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are using.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • Manufacturer's PIL, Mydriacyl® 0.5%; Alcon Laboratories (UK) Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated December 2014.
  • British National Formulary; 69th Edition (Mar 2015) 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.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Helen Huins
Document ID:
3658 (v25)
Last Checked:
Next Review:
The Information Standard - certified member

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