Keeping Your Eyes Safe While Taking Your Medicine


Medications are necessary for many people to maintain optimum health, but at times, they come at a cost. Vision changes are among the most common side effects of the following drugs that may warrant an evaluation by an experienced ophthalmologist Virginia Beach VA.

Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) 

This anti-malarial drug has been a front-line treatment for patients with Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjogren’s Disease. Although side effects are usually mild, a small percentage of patients develop irreversible retinal toxicity, leading to a severe loss of vision in one or both eyes.

Topiramate (Topamax)

This anticonvulsant drug treats epileptic seizures, migraine headaches and sometimes, bi-polar disorder. It can cause headaches and blurred vision for some people due to pupil dilation, but optic nerve damage is also possible when it causes excessive eye pressure.

Alendronate (Fosamax)

Patients who take this drug may experience inflammation and sensitivity of the eyes due to scleritis and keratitis. Fortunately, these conditions are reversible before they lead to vision loss from corneal damage.


This drug is a vital part of breast cancer treatment, and it is necessary to weigh its benefits against its side effects. It commonly causes eye problems, including dryness, cataracts and retinopathy. Modifying this drug’s dosage or discontinuing it can reverse its side effects.


Heart patients who suffer from an irregular heartbeat rely upon this anti-arrhythmic drug to manage this condition. People who take this drug must be sure to have their eyes frequently examined for optic neuropathy signs. These include diminished color vision or total vision loss.


Severe acne-suffers can benefit from using this powerful drug to reduce the amount of oil present in the glands when other treatments are ineffective. Side effects concerning the eyes include blurry, double and tunnel vision, inflammation, and permanent night vision loss.

Medication is a vital part of treating and living with chronic health conditions. Patients taking some drugs must schedule frequent examinations with an ophthalmologist to ensure the health of their eyes.

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