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Generic name: oxymetazoline ophthalmic
Brand names: Upneeq, Visine Long Lasting, Ocuclear, Visine L.R.
Dosage form: ophthalmic solution (0.025%; 0.1%)
Drug class: Ophthalmic antihistamines and decongestants

Medically reviewed by  A Ras MD.

What is oxymetazoline used for?

Oxymetazoline is a prescription medicine that is used to treat eye irritation.


Oxymetazoline hydrochloride ophthalmic solution) 0.1% an alpha-adrenoceptor agonist.  The chemical name is 6-tert-Butyl-3-(2-imidazolin-2-ylmethyl)-2,4dimethylphenol monohydrochloride and the molecular mass is 296.84. Oxymetazoline HCl is freely soluble in water and ethanol and has a partition coefficient of 0.1 in 1-octanol/water. The molecular formula of oxymetazoline HCl is C16H24N2O•HCl, and its structural formula is:





Before taking oxymetazoline, tell your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to oxymetazoline; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you have taken certain drugs for depression or Parkinson’s disease in the last 14 days. This includes isocarboxazid, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, selegiline, or rasagiline. Very high blood pressure may happen.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with oxymetazoline.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take oxymetazoline with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take oxymetazoline?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take oxymetazoline. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • This medicine may cause very bad harm if swallowed. The chance of very bad harm is higher in children. If oxymetazoline is swallowed, call a doctor or poison control center right away.
  • Do not give oxymetazoline to a child younger than 6 years of age.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using oxymetazoline while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is oxymetazoline best taken?

Use oxymetazoline as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • For the eye only.
  • Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
  • Do not use if solution changes color.
  • Take out contact lenses before using oxymetazoline. Lenses may be put back in 15 minutes after oxymetazoline is given. Do not put contacts back in if your eyes are irritated or infected.
  • Do not touch the container tip to the eye, lid, or other skin.
  • Tilt your head back and drop drug into the eye.
  • After use, keep your eyes closed. Put pressure on the inside corner of the eye. Do this for 1 to 2 minutes. This keeps the drug in your eye.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Use a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not use 2 doses or extra doses.
  • Many times oxymetazoline is used on an as needed basis. Do not use more often than told by the doctor.

What are the side effects of oxymetazoline that I need to call my doctor about immediately?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Eye pain.
  • Very bad eye irritation.

What are some other side effects of oxymetazoline?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Eye irritation.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If overdose is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out oxymetazoline?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.



  • Compare to Afrin® active ingredient
  • Oxymetazoline HCl 0.05%
  • Nasal Decongestant
  • Fast, Powerful Congestion Relief
  • For Colds & Allergies
  • Maximum Strength
  • 12 Hour Relief
  • Spray Mist
  • 1 FL OZ (30 mL)


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