Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2010 Nov;66(11):1161-4. doi: 10.1007/s00228-010-0890-6. Epub 2010 Sep 11.

The local vasoconstriction of infant's skin following instillation of mydriatic eye drops.

Author information

Department of Opthalmology, School of Medicine, Zonguldak Karaelmas University, Kozlu, Zonguldak, Turkey.



Systemic absorption of eye drops is known to occur via the nasal mucosa, cornea, and conjunctiva. Diffusion of eye drops through the skin is previously unrecognized. Here, two cases are presented in which we observed skin pallor around the eyes after instillation of phenylephrine 2.5% drops. CASE 1: A 32-week gestational age premature infant had mydriatic eye drops instilled as part of retinopathy of prematurity screening. CASE 2: A term newborn dysmorphic infant underwent fundus examination to rule out ocular pathology. In both cases, discoloration of periorbital skin was observed 45 min following administration of drops.


The risks of percutaneous toxicity must always be considered in children, especially in premature neonates, in whom the epidermal permeability barrier is frequently incompetent. Application of smaller drop size or wiping of overflowed drop from the skin may be useful to decrease the risk of systemic side effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center