Consumer medicine information


Carbachol 1.5% & 3.0%

Consumer Medicine Information

What is in this leaflet

Read this leaflet carefully before you start to use ISOPTO® CARBACHOL Eye Drops.

This leaflet has been written to answer some common questions about ISOPTO® CARBACHOL. It does not contain all of the available information and does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

All medicines have risks and benefits. In deciding to prescribe ISOPTO® CARBACHOL for you your doctor has weighed the potential risks and benefits of using this medicine.

The information in this leaflet applies to ISOPTO® CARBACHOL only. This information does not apply to similar products, even if they contain the same ingredients.

If you have any concerns about using ISOPTO® CARBACHOL ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Keep this leaflet with your medicine. You may need it again.

What ISOPTO® CARBACHOL is used for

ISOPTO® CARBACHOL is used in the treatment of glaucoma and contains the active ingredient carbachol, which belongs to the group of medicines known as “miotics”.

Glaucoma is a condition in which the pressure of the fluid in the eye may be high. However some people with glaucoma may have normal eye pressure.

Glaucoma is usually caused by a build up of the fluid that flows through the eye. This build up occurs because the fluid drains out of your eye more slowly than it is being pumped in. Since new fluid continues to enter the eye, joining the fluid already there, the pressure continues to rise. This raised pressure may damage the back of the eye resulting in gradual loss of sight. Damage can progress so slowly that the person is not aware of this gradual loss of sight. Sometimes even normal eye pressure is associated with damage to the back of the eye.

There are normally no symptoms of glaucoma. The only way of knowing that you have glaucoma is to have your eye pressure, optic nerve and visual field checked by an eye specialist of optometrist. If glaucoma is not treated it can lead to serious problems, including total blindness. In fact, untreated glaucoma is one of the most common causes of blindness.

Although ISOPTO® CARBACHOL helps control your glaucoma it does not cure it.

For more information about glaucoma, contact Glaucoma Australia (Phone 1800 500 880 or email:

ISOPTO® CARBACHOL lowers pressure in the eye by allowing more fluid to flow out from within your eye(s).

ISOPTO® CARBACHOL is not addictive.

Before you use ISOPTO® CARBACHOL

When you must not use it

Do not use ISOPTO® CARBACHOL Eye Drops if:

  1. You are allergic to carbachol or to any other ingredient in ISOPTO® CARBACHOL (these are listed under Product Description).
  2. You have been diagnosed with conditions known as iritis or uveitis (inflammation of the eye).

Do not use ISOPTO® CARBACHOL if:

  • the bottle seal is broken or shows signs of tampering
  • if the date (EXP) printed on the label and carton has passed.
    If you use this medicine after the expiry date has passed, it may not work.

Do not put ISOPTO® CARBACHOL into your eye(s) while you are wearing soft contact lenses. You can put your soft contact lenses into your eyes 10 minutes after you have used ISOPTO® CARBACHOL.

If you are not sure whether you should start using ISOPO® CARBACOL, talk to your doctor.

Before you start to use it

Let your doctor know if any of the following applies before you start using ISOPTO® CARBACHOL:

If you:

  1. Have an allergy to any other medicines or any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes.
  2. Are pregnant or are intending to become pregnant. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using ISOPTO® CARBACHOL when pregnant.
  3. Are breast feeding or intending to breast feed. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using ISOPTO® CARBACHOL when breast feeding.
  4. You have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
    – Parkinson’s disease
    – high blood pressure
    – an obstruction of the urinary tract
    – any heart disease
    – any difficulties or lung problems, eg asthma
    – peptic ulcers

Taking any other medicines

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop. Some medicines and ISOPTO® CARBACHOL may interfere with each other. These include:

  • other medicines or eye drops for glaucoma.

Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while using ISOPTO® CARBACHOL.


How much to use

The usual dose of ISOPTO® CARBACHOL is two drops in the affected eye(s) up to three times a day. The dosing instructions will be printed on the label your pharmacist put on the bottle or carton.

Follow all directions given to you by your doctor carefully. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.

If you do not understand the instructions on the label, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

How to use it

You may find it easier to put drops in your eye while you are sitting or lying down.

If you are wearing soft contact lenses, remove them before putting the drops in your eye.

Follow these steps to use ISOPTO® CARBACHOL:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Shake the bottle.
  3. Remove the cap from the bottle.
  4. Hold the bottle upside down in one hand between your thumb and middle finger (see Diagram 1).

  1. Tilt your head back and look up.
  2. Using your other hand, gently pull down the lower eyelid to form a pouch or pocket.
  3. Put the tip of the dropper close to the eye. Release one drop into the pouch/pocket formed between the eye and eyelid by gently tapping or pressing the base of the bottle with your forefinger (see Diagrams 2 and 3).

  1. Close the eye gently and press on the inside corner of the eye with the pad of your index finger for 2 minutes.
  2. Replace the cap on the bottle, closing it tightly.
  3. Wash your hands again with soap and water to remove any residue.

There might be a slight burning feeling in the eye(s) shortly after using ISOPTO® CARBACHOL. If this persists, or is very uncomfortable, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Do not touch the tip of the dropper tip with your fingers, to the eye or any other surface. This will help prevent the eye drops becoming dirty or contaminated.

How long to use it

Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how long to use ISOPTO® CARBACHOL.

Do not take ISOPTO® CARBACHOL longer than your doctor tells you. If you are unsure about when or how to stop using ISOPTO® CARBACHOL you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

If you forget to use it

If you forget to use ISOPTO® CARBACHOL you should put the drops that you missed in the eye(s) as soon as you remember and then go back to using them as recommended by your doctor. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose that you missed and continue using them as recommended.

Never take a double dose to make up for the one that you missed.

If you are not sure what to do, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

If you have trouble remembering to use the medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.

If you use too much (overdose)

If you accidentally put too many drops in your eye(s) immediately rinse your eye(s) with warm water.

If anyone accidentally swallows ISOPTO® CARBACHOL Eye Drops immediately telephone the nearest Poisons Information Centre (in Australia call 13 11 26; in New Zealand call 0800 POISON or 0800 764 766.


Things you must do

Have your eye pressure checked when your eye specialist says to make sure that ISOPTO® CARBACHOL is working.

If you wear soft contact lenses, remove them before using ISOPTO® CARBACHOL. You can put your soft contact lenses into your eyes 10 minutes after you have used ISOPTO® CARBACHOL.

If you develop an eye infection, receive an eye injury, or have eye surgery tell your doctor. Your doctor may tell you to use a new container of ISOPTO® CARBACHOL because of possible contamination of the old one, or may advise you to stop your treatment with ISOPTO® CARBACHOL.

Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while you are using ISOPTO® CARBACHOL.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist that you are using ISOPTO® CARBACHOL before you start taking any other medicines.

Things you must not do

Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if they appear to have the same condition as you.

Do not stop using ISOPTO® CARBACHOL without first asking your doctor.

Do not let children handle ISOPTO® CARBACHOL.

Things to be careful of

You should not drive or operate any machinery if ISOPTO® CARBACHOL affects your vision in any way.

ISOPTO® CARBACHOL can cause difficulty in adjusting to darkness. Care should be taken whilst driving at night or undertaking hazardous activities in poor light.

Side Effects

All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, however most of the time they are not. You may need to seek medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.

Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you do not feel well while using ISOPTO® CARBACHOL.

ISOPTO® CARBACHOL Eye Drops are generally well tolerated. Reactions that have been reported include:

  • Momentary burning or stinging of the eye;
  • Watering of the eye(s);
  • Blurred vision;
  • Irritation of the eye(s) and eyelid(s).

Occasionally some people notice unwanted effects in other areas of the body as a result of using ISOPTO® CARBACHOL. These effects may include:

  • Nausea or vomiting;
  • Headache;
  • Diarrhoea and abdominal pain;
  • Dizziness and light-headedness, which may be due to low blood pressure;
  • Very slow pulse;
  • Irregular heartbeat;
  • Difficulty in breathing;
  • Increase in urination.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. Let your doctor know if you observe any unwanted effects while using ISOPTO® CARBACHOL, even if they do not appear in the lists above.

Do not feel alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.



Store ISOPTO® CARBACHOL in a cool, dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.

Do not refrigerate ISOPTO® CARBACHOL.

Do not leave ISOPTO® CARBACHOL in the car, in the bathroom or in other warm, damp places.

Keep ISOPTO® CARBACHOL, and all other medicines, in a safe place away from children.


Discard each bottle of ISOPTO® CARBACHOL 4 weeks after it has been opened. Write the date the bottle was opened on the label to remind you when to discard the bottle.

Product Description

What it looks like

ISOPTO® CARBACHOL is a colourless liquid that comes in a 15 mL dropper bottle.


Active drug:
Carbachol (1.5%) or (3.0%)

Other ingredients:

  • Benzalkonium chloride,
  • hypromellose,
  • sodium chloride,
  • boric acid,
  • borax and
  • purified water.


In Australia this product is supplied by:
Alcon Laboratories (Australia) Pty Ltd
25 Frenchs Forest Rd East

AUST R 25290 and 25291

In New Zealand this product is distributed by:
Pacific Pharmaceuticals Ltd
76 Leonard Road
Mt Wellington, AUCKLAND

This leaflet was prepared on 7 April 2003.

ISOPTO® CARBACHOL® is a trademark of Alcon.

Published by MIMS March 2015