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Instilling your child's cyclopentolate eye drops

Patient information A-Z

Why have you provided me with eye drops?

Administering these eye drops at home will help to minimise the length of time you will have to wait at your next appointment.

You may have been provided with eye drops for home use if your child became very distressed in clinic when your healthcare professional tried to instil the eye drops. Instilling the drops at home will provide your child with a more positive experience at their next appointment.

Do not instil cyclopentolate if your child has a known allergy (or has had a severe reaction) to it.

What does cyclopentolate do?

Cyclopentolate has two effects when instilled in the eyes:

  • It dilates the pupil (makes the black dot in the middle of the eye larger).
  • It stops the eye from focusing properly, which blurs the child’s near (or close up) vision.

The effects of cyclopentolate

Cyclopentolate will dilate the pupils and cause blurred vision, which may last up to 24 hours or more after using it.

Are there any side-effects?

  • It will make the dilated eyes sensitive to light so your child may want to avoid bright light. Wearing sunglasses and/or a sun hat may help.
  • Your child may feel a little discomfort (stinging) when the drops are instilled. This will pass after a few seconds.
  • Tell the doctor you see in clinic if your child is taking any other medication.
  • Side-effects are possible (but very unlikely) such as an effect on your child’s balance. If any unpleasant side effects are experienced after using these eye drops, stop using the cyclopentolate and seek medical advice immediately.

It is important that you:

  • Do not use cyclopentolate past the expiry date.
  • Store cyclopentolate in a dry dark place below 25°C (room temperature).
  • Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.
  • If you should misplace the eye drops, contact the paediatric ophthalmology nurses, the orthoptic team or clinic 3 (contact details on page 4).

How should I instil the cyclopentolate drops?

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Peel the overwrap and take out the Minims unit. Remove the cap by twisting and pulling.
  3. Gently pull down the lower eyelid of the eye with your finger to create a little ‘pocket’/ recess into which to place the drop.
  4. Instil one drop of cyclopentolate into the ‘pocket’/ recess.
  5. Release the eyelid.
  6. Press gently on the inner corner of the eye (by the side of the nose) for about one minute. This will avoid the solution draining away into the back of the nose and being swallowed, and then absorbed systemically.
  7. Replace the cap and bring the remaining eye drops to your clinic appointment for safe disposal.
  8. Always wash your hands and your child’s hands after using the drops to avoid it being taken internally.

How often should I instil the eye drops?

As your healthcare professional has identified below:

  • Instil one drop into each eye on the morning of your child’s appointment.
  • Other…………………………………...….(to be completed by your healthcare professional if appropriate)
  • The cyclopentolate eye drops can be instilled whilst your child is asleep, which you may find easier.

Further information

If no response is gained, please call the clinic nurses on 01223 217778.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

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Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151