Many commonly used medications can have side effects that affect your eyes. In this edition of our trimester newsletter, I will list the top 10 most commonly prescribed systemic drugs, what they are usually prescribed for, and their potential ocular side effects.

Brand Name Generic Name Clinical Use Potential Systemic Side Effects Potential Ocular Side Effects
Lipitor Atorvastin High Cholesterol Muscle Pain
Constipation
Flatulence and Diarrhea
Nausea
Dry Eyes
Blurred Vision
Increased Eye
Pressure (may cause Glaucoma)
Premarin Conjugated Estrogen Menopause
Osteoporosis
Questionable Association With Breast Cancer Risk (studies at this point seem conflicting) Vision Changes and Contact Lens Discomfort Dry Eyes
Synthroid Levothyroxine Hypothyroidism (both Surgical and Natural Causes) Seizures
Skin Irritations or Rash
Hair Loss
Dry Eyes
Pseodotumor Cerebri (in children)
Vicodin Hydrocodon and Acetaminophen Pain Relief
Cough Suppressant
Light Headedness or Sedation
Dizziness
Nausea / Vomitting
Blurred Vision
Prilosec Omeprazole Heartburn
Stomach Ulcer
GERD
Headache
Diarrhea and/or Constipation
Abdominal Pain
Nausea and Vomiting
Visual Hallucinations
Vertigo
Norvasc Amlodipine High Blood Pressure Headache
Edema
Dizziness
Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
Blurred Vision
Double Vision
Eye Pain and/or Dry Eyes
Glucophage Metformin Diabetes Lactic Acid Build-Up
Nausea and Vomiting
Flatulence
None reported at this time
Proventil or Ventolin Albuterol Asthma
Bronchospasm
Nervousness
Rapid Heart Rate
Headache
Slight Chance of Visual Hallucinations (rare)
Claritin Loratatdine Seasonal Allergies
Non Specific Allergy
Headache
Sleep Disturbances
Fatigue
Dry Mouth
Conjunctivitis
Eye Pain
Dry Eyes
Zoloft Sertraline Obsessive and/or Compulsive Disorder
Depression
Sweating
Dry Mouth
GI Disturbances
Eye Pain
Conjunctivitis
Focusing Problems

Many other commonly prescribed medications can cause a number of vision changes or potential health complications with your eyes. If you have any questions regarding the medications you are taking and how to watch out for, and treat, any potential ocular side effects, please give me a call.


Author: Dr. Matthew Skrdla

Other vision articles by Dr. Matthew Skrdla
Air Optix Aqual Multifocal Contacts
Allergy Season
Diabetes Affects the Health of Your Eyes
Eye on Health – Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Is Eye Sight Inherited?

Spex Optical and Foothills Eye Care, PC
712 Whalers Way, Fort Collins CO

Fort Collins, Colorado – Eye Doctor – Optometrist – Vision Source