What Is Cyclopentolate Used For and How Does it Work?

Cyclopentolate is used before eye examinations (e.g., refraction exams). It belongs to a class of drugs known as anticholinergics. Cyclopentolate works by temporarily widening (dilating) the pupil of the eye and relaxing the muscles of the eye.

Cyclopentolate is available under the following different brand names: Cyclogyl and AK-Pentolate.

Dosages of Cyclopentolate


  • 0.5%
  • 1%
  • 2%

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Mydriasis/Cycloplegia Diagnosis

  • Mydriasis/Cycloplegia Diagnosis
  • Adult: 1-2 drops of 1% solution in eye; may repeat in 5 minutes as needed; cycloplegia and mydriasis may last for 24 hours
  • Use 2% in heavily pigmented iris
  • Pediatric: 1-2 drops of 0.5%, 1% or 2% solution in eye; may repeat 5 minutes later by second application of 0.5% or 1% solution if necessary

Overdose Management

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Cyclopentolate?

Side effects of Cyclopentolate include:

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Cyclopentolate?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.

Cyclopentolate has no listed interactions with other drugs.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health questions or concerns.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Cyclopentolate?


This medication contains cyclopentolate. Do not take Cyclogyl or AK-Pentolate if you are allergic to cyclopentolate or any ingredients contained in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.


  • Hypersensitivity, untreated narrow angle glaucoma or increased intraocular pressure (IOP); untreated anatomically narrow angles
  • Sulfite sensitivity and other hypersensitivities; children with previous systemic reaction to atropine

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • No information available.

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Cyclopentolate?"

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Cyclopentolate?"


  • Wait 5 minutes between drops
  • Transient elevation in intraocular pressure may occur
  • Use caution in patients with Down syndrome (predisposed to angle-closure glaucoma)
  • Remove contact lenses prior to administration and wait 15 min before reinserting
  • The elderly may be predisposed to increased intraocular pressure
  • The 2% solution may result in psychotic reactions and behavioral disturbances in children 30-45 min following instillation
  • Minimize absorption by using 1 drop of solution per eye and applying pressure over the nasolacrimal sac for 2-3 minutes

Pregnancy and Lactation

Use cyclopentolate with caution during pregnancy if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies are not available or neither animal nor human studies were done. It is unknown if cyclopentolate is excreted in breast milk; use with caution while breastfeeding.


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