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How to Use Eyedrops

How to Use Eyedrops

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Check the dropper tip to make sure that it is not chipped or cracked.
  3. Avoid touching the dropper tip against your eye or anything else; eyedrops and dropper must be kept clean.
  4. Remove contact lenses unless the product is to be specifically used with contact lenses.
  5. While tilting your head back, pull down the lower lid of your eye with your index finger to form a pocket (see figure).
  6. Hold the dropper (tip down) with the other hand, as close to the eye as possible without touching it.
  7. Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your face.
  8. While looking up, gently squeeze the dropper so that a single drop falls into the pocket made by the lower eyelid. Remove your index finger from the lower eyelid.
  9. Close your eye for 2 to 3 minutes and tip your head down as though looking at the floor. Try not to blink or squeeze your eyelids.
  10. Place a finger on the tear duct and apply gentle pressure.
  11. Wipe any excess liquid from your face with a tissue.
  12. If you are to use more than one drop in the same eye, wait at least 5 minutes before instilling the next drop.
  13. Replace and tighten the cap on the dropper bottle. Do not wipe or rinse the dropper tip.
  14. Wash your hands to remove any medication.

Adapted, with permission, from the Michigan Pharmacists Association's Patient Education Program. Illustration reproduced, with permission, from the Atlas of Primary Eyecare Procedures, Appleton Lange, Norwalk, CT, 1997.


This report on medications is for your information only, and is not considered individual patient advice. Because of the changing nature of drug information, please consult your physician or pharmacist about specific clinical use.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists® represents that the information provided hereunder was formulated with a reasonable standard of care, and in conformity with professional standards in the field. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists® makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranty of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to such information and specifically disclaims all such warranties. Users are advised that decisions regarding drug therapy are complex medical decisions requiring the independent, informed decision of an appropriate health care professional, and the information is provided for informational purposes only. The entire monograph for a drug should be reviewed for a thorough understanding of the drug's actions, uses and side effects. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists® does not endorse or recommend the use of any drug. The information is not a substitute for medical care.

Pronunciation Guide for Drug Names is used with permission. © 2009. The United States Pharmacopeial Convention. All Rights Reserved.

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Last Reviewed: September 1, 2010.