Closed-Angle Glaucoma: Medicines to Avoid

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Topic Overview

If you have narrow drainage angles or you have long-term (chronic) closed-angle glaucoma , you may need to avoid medicines that widen (dilate) the pupil, the dark spot in the center of the eye. Having wide pupils when you have these other problems may cause acute closed-angle glaucoma. This is a dangerous condition that requires medical care right away to prevent lasting damage to your eye.

Some examples of prescription and over-the-counter medicines that may dilate the pupils are:

  • Antihistamines and decongestants
  • Asthma medicines
  • Motion sickness medicines
  • Some medicines used to treat depression (tricyclic antidepressants)

Talk with your eye specialist about medicines that you should not take.


Other Works Consulted

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology (2010). Primary Angle Closure (Preferred Practice Pattern). San Francisco: American Academy of Ophthalmology. Also available online:


ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology

Current as ofAugust 21, 2015