Drugs and Ocular Side Effects

Many drugs have important side effects that you need to know about.  Here is a partial list:

  • Hydroxychloroquine taken for malaria, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis can cause irreversible damage to the retina
  • Statins are taken to lower cholesterol levels and may be associated with double vision, droopy eyelid, and worsening of cataracts
  • Topiramate is used to treat epilepsy and may be associated with acute angle closure glaucoma (very high intraocular pressures) and transient nearsightedness
  • Tamsulosin is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia and is associated with intraoperative floppy iris syndrome (IFIS) during cataract surgery
  • Retinoids are used to treat severe acne and have been associated with intracranial hypertension and swelling of both optic nerves
  • Hepatitis B vaccine may be associated with inflammation inside the eyes
  • Fluoroquinolones are antibiotics that may cause corneal precipitates and inflammation inside the eyes
  • Ethambutol is used to treat pulmonary tuberculosis and is associated with optic neuritis and peripheral visual field loss
  • Erectile dysfunction drugs can cause changes in color and light perception, blurred vision, eye pain, and sensitivity to light
  • Cetirizine is an antihistamine that can be associated with pupil changes and dry eyes
  • Bisphosphonates are drugs for osteoporosis and can cause blurred vision, inflammation of the episclera, and inflammation inside the eyes