If you are going to have eye surgery, your healthcare provider may use Ocufen eye drops to help keep the pupil from constricting during the procedure. This prescription medicine is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It may also be used to reduce inflammation following eye surgery, although this is an unapproved use.
Ocufen® (flurbiprofen ophthalmic) is a prescription medicine approved to help prevent the pupil from constricting (becoming smaller) during eye surgery. It belongs to a group of medicines known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
The pupil is the hole in the middle of the iris (the colored part of the eye) through which light passes. The iris contains the muscles that control the size of the pupil. Normally, the iris causes the pupil to become larger or smaller to allow more or less light into the eye. When the pupil constricts (becomes smaller), less light can enter the eye. In contrast, when the pupil dilates (becomes bigger), more light can enter the eye.
Excessive constriction of the pupil is known medically as miosis. A variety of things can cause miosis, including illness and certain medications, such as narcotics. In some cases, trauma that occurs during eye surgery can cause miosis.
Miosis can complicate eye surgery, making it more difficult for the surgeon to perform a successful surgery. For example, during cataract surgery, the natural lens of the eye (which is clouded due to cataracts) is removed and replaced by an artificial lens (see Cataract Surgery for more information). A constricted pupil interferes with the removal of the natural lens and insertion of a new lens.
Ocufen drops are used prior to eye surgery to prevent miosis from occurring. They are applied directly to the eye in the hours leading up to the surgery.