Gulf Coast Eye Care

Medications with Ocular Risks

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Ocular Side Effects

At Gulfcoast Eye Care, we are frequently asked by primary care physicians and specialists to examine patients to monitor for signs of toxicity or for eye side effects of some of various medications. While this is not an all-inclusive list, here are several medications for which you should consider having regular eye examinations.


Medication List


Pamidronate Disodium (Aredia), Alendronic Acid (Fosamax), Ibandronate, Zolendronate (Zometa), Risedronate Sodium (Actonel), Clodronate (Bonefos), Etidronate Disodium (Didrocal), Olpadronate
Most commonly used to prevent bone resorption; has been associated with anterior uveitis, scleritis, and nonspecific conjunctivitis.

Ethambutol (Myambutol)

An antibiotic medication that is commonly used to treat tuberculosis or other mycobacterial lung infections; this medication can be associated with optic nerve damage and requires regular monitoring to avoid this risk.

Fingolimod (Gilenya)

Used to most commonly to treat multiple sclerosis (MS); has been associated with macular edema. A baseline eye examination is recommended as well as 3 to 4 months after starting a treatment or if vision changes are noticed.

Hydroxychloroquine/Chloroquine (Plaquenil)

Used most commonly for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, dermatological conditions, & inflammatory disorders. Chloroquine is used for antimalarial treatment.

Sildenafil (Viagra,Tadalafil (Cialis), Vardanafil (Levitra)

Used most commonly in the management of erectile dysfunction; has been associated with changes in color perception (most commonly a bluish color tinge), rare reported cases of Non-Arteritic Ischemic Optic Neuropathy.


Used to treat high cholesterol levels; these medications can be associated with double vision or drooping of your eyelids.


These medications are used extensively to treat asthma, emphysema, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and many other disorders. If you take these medications, you should have your eyes checked regularly to screen for problems such as glaucoma and cataracts that can occur in patients taking steroid medications.

Tamsulosin (Flomax)

Most commonly used for the treatment of an enlarged prostate or urinary retention; can be associated with intraoperative risks during cataract surgery such as Floppy Iris Syndrome. Fortunately, our experienced ophthalmologist, Dr. Michael Manning, has vast experience with performing cataract surgery on patients taking this medication and those who have Floppy Iris Syndrome.

Topiramate (Topamax)

Used most commonly to treat epilepsy and migraine headaches; has been associated with angle-closure glaucoma.

Herbal Medicines & Nutritional Supplements

The following have been associated with ocular side effects: Canthaxanthine, Chamomile, Datura, Echinacea purpurea, Gingko biloba, Licorice, Niacin, Vitamin A.


If you are taking any of these medications, be sure to schedule a consultation with one of our eye specialists to help ensure that your eyes remain healthy.

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