Commonly prescribed medications that may have visual side effects.

People do not always connect vision changes to their medications. Medication people take specifically for other medical conditions can affect vision and eye health. There are some medications that can cause blurred vision, eye pain, redness, or double vision.

If you develop eye symptoms from medications, your healthcare provider may need to adjust the dose or recommend a new drug. Adverse reactions to prescriptions are rare, but they do occur, especially when these drugs are taken for extended periods.

It is sometimes a tough decision to change, especially if it is a life-saving drug and works well for the condition it is prescribed.

A sampling of medications that are often associated with having visual side effects.
• Alendronate (Fosamax)
• Topiramate (Topamax)
• Isotretinoin (Accutane)
• Amiodarone (Cordarone)
• Tamsulosin (Flomax)
• Sildenafil (Viagra)
• Tamoxifen
• Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
• Ethambutol (Myambutol)
• Prednisone or other steroids
• Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or other allergy medications
• Cidofovir (Vistide)
• Digoxin (Lanoxin)
• Fingolimod (Gilenya)
• Rifampin (Rifadin)
• Doxycycline, Tetracycline, and Minocycline
• NSAIDs like ibuprofen
• Plaquenil

Some of the side effects are minor, and others can be more problematic. Some of those side effects are experienced right away, while others may present with long-term use.

Sometimes it is not a single medication, but a combination of medications causing problems.

Side effects that are connected to certain medications that can affect eye health:
• inflammation in parts of the eye
• Blurred vision
• Light sensitivity
• eye pain
• eye redness
• Damage to the optic nerve
• dry eye
• Vortex keratopathy (A golden-brown swirl-like pattern to appear on the cornea)
• Halo effect
• Changes in color perception
• Retinal deposits
• Cornea clouding
• Swelling of the macula
• Pigment changes
• Retinal degeneration
• Decreasing peripheral vision
• Elevated eye pressure
• Headache
• Shadows in vision
• Blank spots in vision
If you develop vision changes, contact your prescribing physician and eye doctor at once. Prompt treatment can protect your vision from harm. In many cases the problem will reverse as soon as the drug clears the body with early recognition of the problem.




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