Apraclonidine Ophthalmic

Name: Apraclonidine Ophthalmic

How should this medicine be used?

Apraclonidine comes as a 0.5% solution (liquid) and a 1% solution to instill in the eye. The 0.5% solution is usually instilled in the affected eye(s) three times a day. The 1% solution is usually instilled in the eye that is being treated 1 hour before laser eye surgery and again immediately after the surgery. If you are using apraclonidine eye drops regularly, use them at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use apraclonidine eye drops exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of them or use them more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Apraclonidine eye drops are only for use in the eye. Do not swallow the eye drops.

Apraclonidine 0.5% eye drops may not continue to control your eye pressure after you have used them for a period of time, usually less than 1 month. Your doctor will examine you often while you are using apraclonidine 0.5% eye drops to see whether the eye drops are still working for you.

Apraclonidine 0.5% eye drops help to control glaucoma for a short period of time but do not cure the condition. Continue to use apraclonidine 0.5% eye drops even if you feel well. Do not stop using apraclonidine 0.5% eye drops without talking to your doctor.

To instill the eye drops, follow these steps:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Check the dropper tip to make sure that it is not chipped or cracked.
  3. Avoid touching the dropper tip against your eye or anything else; eyedrops and droppers must be kept clean.
  4. While tilting your head back, pull down the lower lid of your eye with your index finger to form a pocket.
  5. Hold the dropper (tip down) with the other hand, as close to the eye as possible without touching it.
  6. Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your face.
  7. While looking up, gently squeeze the dropper so that a single drop falls into the pocket made by the lower eyelid. Remove your index finger from the lower eyelid.
  8. Close your eye for 2 to 3 minutes and tip your head down as though looking at the floor. Try not to blink or squeeze your eyelids.
  9. Place a finger on the tear duct and apply gentle pressure.
  10. Wipe any excess liquid from your face with a tissue.
  11. If you are to use more than one drop in the same eye, wait at least 5 minutes before instilling the next drop.
  12. If you are using the 0.5% eye drops, replace and tighten the cap on the dropper bottle. Do not wipe or rinse the dropper tip. If you are using the 1% eye drops, discard the bottle and use a new bottle for your second dose.
  13. Wash your hands to remove any medication.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What other drugs will affect apraclonidine ophthalmic?

Using this medicine while you are taking other medications that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before using apraclonidine if you also take a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • medicine to treat mental illness;

  • insulin or oral diabetes medicine;

  • blood pressure medication; or

  • heart rhythm medication.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with apraclonidine ophthalmic, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to apraclonidine ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution


Very common (10% or more): Conjunctivitis, eye pruritus, ocular hyperemia
Common (1% to 10%): Eyelid edema, dry eye, conjunctival follicles, foreign body sensation in eyes, eyelid margin crusting, increased lacrimation, ocular discomfort
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Mydriasis, keratitis, keratopathy, reduced visual acuity, visual impairment , photophobia, blurred vision, corneal erosion, corneal infiltrates, blepharospasm, blepharitis, eyelid ptosis, erythema of eyelid, eye pain, eye lid scales, eye lid retraction, conjunctival vascular disorders, conjunctival edema, eye discharge, eye irritation, corneal staining, conjunctival hemorrhage, eye inflammation, eyelid disorder (upper lid elevation), hypotony of eye, eye disorder (conjunctival blanching)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Dry mouth
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Nausea, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, stomach discomfort[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache, dysgeusia, taste perversion
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dizziness, abnormal coordination, somnolence, vasovagal syncope, paresthesia, irritability
Rare (less than 0.1%): Hypoesthesia
Frequency not reported: Parosmia[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Chest pain, arrhythmia, vasodilation, palpitations, orthostatic hypotension
Frequency not reported: Chest heaviness or burning
Postmarketing reports: Bradycardia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Rhinitis, nasal dryness
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Asthma, dyspnea, rhinorrhea, throat irritation
Rare (less than 0.1%): Increased upper airway secretion, nasal discomfort
Frequency not reported: Shortness of breath[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Depression, nervousness, insomnia, abnormal dreams[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Dermatitis
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Contact dermatitis
Rare (less than 0.1%): Hyperhidrosis, pruritus
Frequency not reported: Clammy or sweaty palms[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Myalgia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Pain in extremity[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Face edema, malaise, fatigue, peripheral edema
Rare (less than 0.1%): Feeling hot and cold
Frequency not reported: Body heat sensation[Ref]


The most commonly reported side effects were ocular hyperemia, eye pruritus, increased lacrimation, ocular discomfort, eyelid edema, dry mouth, and abnormal sensation in eye.[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Decreased libido[Ref]

Some side effects of apraclonidine ophthalmic may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

Other Comments

Administration advice:
-This drug is for topical ophthalmic use only.

Patient advice:
-To minimize systemic absorption, pressure should be applied to the tear duct for 2 minutes immediately after administration.

Storage requirements:
-Protect from light.
-Do not refrigerate or freeze.

Apraclonidine ophthalmic Breastfeeding Warnings

Use is not recommended. Excreted into human milk: Unknown Excreted into animal milk: Data not available Comments: The effects in the nursing infant are unknown.