There are numerous high-risk medications both over the counter (OCT) or prescriptions that we take daily that can have a negative impact on our eyes. For this blog post, we will explore several of them, but it will not be an exhaustive list. If you are taking any of these medications of classes of medications regular monitoring by your optometrist is urged.


High-Risk Medications That Can Affect Our Eyes


  • Antihistamines (Benadryl, Diametane and more) are OTC and used to treat allergies. They may cause blurred vision. Patients with glaucoma should avoid use as it may cause an angle-closure glaucoma crisis where the eye becomes red and painful as well as nausea and vomiting.
  • Plaquenil used in the treatment of lupus, malaria, and arthritis may disrupt the macula of some patients causing wavy, distorted vision and change to color vision perception.
  • Oral contraceptives may cause inflammation of the optic nerve, migraines and venous obstructions in the eye.
  • Steroids like prednisone usually chronic use may lead to early cataract development and steroid-induced glaucoma.
  • Certain cardiac medications like Amiodarone can leave a whirl deposit in the cornea that usually doesn’t affect the vision but at times a neuropathy can develop that can affect the vision.
  • Erectile dysfunction medications like Viagra and Cialis can cause an ischemic condition that causes a patient’s vision to have a bluish hue. If experienced the patient is advised to stop taking the medication immediately and call there eye doctor.
  • Topamax used for seizures, epilepsy, weight loss, and migraines can cause a sudden decrease in vision and an angle-closure glaucoma crisis.
  • Flomax used to treat incontinence has been known to cause “floppy iris syndrome” which complicates cataract surgical procedure.
  • Accutane for the treatment of acne. Has been linked to reduced night vision, burning, redness, and temporary visual disturbances.

The common theme is regular monitoring and if you experience any visual side effects to call and be evaluated.

Dr. Matthew Ozment
Optometrist, Broken Arrow OK
(918) 893-3769