What is Visine&Reg;?

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  • Written By: Phil Shepley
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2019
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Visine® is a brand of eye drop that is manufactured by the company Johnson & Johnson. A person can use this brand of eye drop solution to relieve several conditions of the eyes. These include dryness, burning, irritation, redness, and more, which can be caused by a number of factors. The generic name for the solution of Visine® is tetrahydrozoline ophthalmic, which is sold under several different brand names by other companies.

The original formula for Visine® contains both potassium chloride as well as tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride. The latter chemical composition is referred to as a vasoconstrictor, which will constrict blood flow in the outer blood vessels of the eye. This serves the purpose of decreasing much of the redness of irritated eyes. It also gives the sufferer relief from other symptoms in the process.

The product is a non-prescription liquid that comes bottled in small quantities, generally in 1/2 to 1 ounce (15 to 30 ml) bottles. They contain a built-in eyedropper for administering it to the affected eye or eyes. It is important that this dropper is kept away from surfaces, as contamination can lead to potential eye infections. It should also be noted that Visine® should only be used in the eyes, as intended on the packaging. Oral ingestion of the product can lead to serious side effects, and someone who ingests the product should seek immediate medical help or a poison control center.


Different variations of the product exist, depending on the conditions of the patient. For example, a "lubricating and rewetting" variety exists, for use by wearers of contact lenses. Similarly, another version is Visine-A®, which is designed for eye irritations that are the result of allergies. Several more varieties are also available, and are sold through a wide variety of stores.

Visine® is a relatively simple product to administer, although the process of putting drops of liquid into the eyes may cause apprehension or anxiety for some users. The correct way to use Visine® is to tilt the head back, pull down the lower eyelid, squeeze a drop into the eye and then close the eye. A finger can then be depressed on the inside corner of the eye to keep the tear duct from absorbing the liquid. If another drop is to be added, it is recommended that the user wait about five minutes before applying it.

Anyone who suffers a condition of the eye should seek medical advice from a medical expert, such as a family physician, before administering a product like Visine®. Once it has been determined that the product is safe to use, it is important that the patient reads the enclosed information and follows all product directions. In the case of this brand of eye drops, the user must not administer the product for a period exceeding 48 to 72 hours, after which he should see a doctor if the eye problem persists or if he experiences side effects from the medication.


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