Visine is formulated in several varieties:
VISINE A.C. – Astringent/Redness Reliever Eye Drops
Special formula for allergens, such as ragweed, dust, or pollen.
VISINE FOR CONTACTS – For Silicone Hydrogel and Hydrophilic lenses
Used primarily for comfort during the day, moistening upon awakening and before sleep.
A longer-lasting formula that lasts for up to 6 hours.
See artificial tears.
Antihistamine combined with a vasoconstrictor for itchy eyes associated with allergy.
Includes HYDROBLEND®, which acts as a moisturizer. Lasts up to 10 hours.
Multi-Symptom Relief. Lubricant / Astrigent Redness Reliever Eye Drops.
Those using Visine Original frequently report stinging and burning upon application.
Use of this product can cause a rebound effect causing the redness to worsen. Prolonged use can cause blood vessels to be dilated for an extended period of time. Use should be limited unless specified by a doctor.
A red eye may often be indicative of more serious underlying ocular condition; simply reducing blood flow to the area won’t solve the condition and may even exacerbate symptoms.
These drops are also not advised for contact lens wearers because decreased blood flow to the surface of the eye will further lower the levels of oxygen available to the eye.
Visine is not to be used by patients with glaucoma since the production of more liquids only contributes to the problem of high pressure within the eye.
A common urban legend is that a few drops of Visine in an unsuspecting victim’s drink will cause harmless but debilitating bouts of explosive diarrhea, akin to that of a laxative. This will not produce explosive diarrhea, but oral administration of Visine can induce dangerous side effects related to Visine’s ingredient tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride such as:
Dangerously low body temperature (hypothermia)
Nausea and vomiting (as opposed to explosive diarrhea)
Difficulty in breathing or even a complete halt in breathing
Elevating (hypertension) then dropping (hypotension) blood pressure
Seizures and tremors
Anyone ingesting Visine should get medical attention or contact a poison control center immediately.