Due to patients facing difficulty in distinguishing various eye drops with the help with pharmaceutical industry and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Committee on Drugs developed a uniform color-coding system.for eye drops. Depending upon the nature of eye disease treatment, side effects, and to minimize the harmful effects of switching incorrect compositions eye drops uses, the specific color code has been given to define the class of ocular medication. This color chart is not valid to all over the world but some pharmaceutical industries of United States of America has implemented eye drop cap color coding system as recommended by AAO.
This Eye Drop Cap Color Chart helps patients to differentiate among other eye drops, so it helps to minimize using incorrect medicines and it will definietly prevent other problems which can generated by using wrong eye drops.
Here is a detail list of eye drop color code for most commonly prescribed ophthalmic medication. From this it help patients to recognizing eyedrop bottle by color.
Eye Drop Cap Color Code
Eye Drop with Red Cap: Mydriatics and Cycloplegics
These eye drop are usually known as dilating eye drops. Commonly it is used for dilated eye examination such as examing posterior segment disorders like glaucoma, Diabetic retinopathy, ARMD, Vitreous disorders, optic nerve disease etc. It is also used in cycloplegic refraction, and some ocular disease like uveitis and corneal ulcer in which these ophthalmic medication help to release spasm of ciliary muscles and reduce pain, it also help to prevent formation of posterior synechiae in Uveitis.
Example of Red color cap groups eye drop name
- Atropine sulfate ophthalmic solution: Isopto atropine, Atro care
- Homatropine: Homatropaire, Homacid
- Cyclopentolate: Cyclogyl
- Tropicamide: Mydriacyl
- Phenylephrine: Phenylephrine Hydrochloride Ophthalmic Solution
Mixed Combination such as Tropicamide+phenylephrine and Cyclopentolate with phenylephrine also available in market. Eg. Cyclomydril
Orange Cap Eye Drop: Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors
Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors (CAI) ocular medications are mainly used for the treatment of glaucoma or other ocular conditions of high intraocular pressure. These group eye drops help to decrease the Intraocular pressure of the eye.
Dorzolamide Hydrochloride Ophthalmic Solution (Trusopt eye drops) and Brinzolamide ophthalmic suspension (Azopt eye drops) falls under this categories. These color code are helpful in such cases when you forgot name of Dorzolamide eye drops and you know the Dorzolamide cap color is orange you can ask pharmacist by the orange cap color eye drops.
Pink Cap Eye Drop: Steroid
Steroid ophthalmic medications are used to treat inflammations of an eyes. The main functions of steroid eye drops with pink cap is to reduces the inflammation. These eye drops were used in anterior segment inflammations, Uveitis, after intraocular surgeries, severe allergic cases, and some of viral corneal inflammations. Some of these categories eye drops also available in white cap.
Generic name and Trade name of steroid eye drop are as follows
- Prednisolone Acetate Ophthalmic Suspension : Pred Forte, Omnipred, Prednisolone Phosphate, Pred Mild
- Loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic suspension: Lotemax, Alrex, L-pred
- Difluprednate: Durezol, Flupred
- Fluorometholone: FML, FML Forte, Flarex eye drop
Yellow or Light Blue: Beta Blockers
Beta Blockers eye drops having yellow or light blue cap are used to to treat Glaucoma. It helps to decrease the production of an aqueous humor and reduces the intraocular pressure of an eyes.
Ophthalmic medicine of this categroies
- Timolol Maleate Ophthalmic Solution: Timoptic, Istalol
- Levobunolol Hydrochloride: Betagan
- Betaxolol HCL: Betopti, Optipres
Purple Color Eye Drop Cap : Alpha Adrenergic Agonists
Alpha Adrenergic Agonists ophthalmic medicine is used in treatment of Glaucoma, It reduces the intraocular pressure of eye by decreasing the production of aqueous humor and also increase the outflow of aqueous drainage via uveoscleral outflow.
Brominidine (Alphagan Eye Drop) and Lumify ophthalmic solution comes with the purple color eye cap.
Dark Green : Miotics
Pilocarpine eye drop cap color is Dark Green it falls under the category of Miotics eye drop. Miotics are Cholinergic agonists that is parasympathomimetics and function for constrict the pupil. It is used for decreasing Intraocular pressure in angle closure glaucoma by increasing aqueous humor outflow via trabeculum meshwork pulling the peripheral iris which blocks the trabeculum. Pilocarpine eye drop (Isoptocarpine) is also used before Nd Yag laser for Peripheral Iridectomy procedure and in some cataract surgery cases where anterior chamber intraocular lens is going to be implanted.
Light Green : Adrenergic Agonist Combination
Alpha adrenergic agonist combination eye drops were also used in treatment of glaucoma.
Example: Brinzolamide Brimonidine Eye Drop named as Simbrinza,
Turquoise: Prostaglandin Analogues
These eye drops are considered as first-line treatment for glaucoma. It lowers intraocular pressure by increasing aqueous humor drainage via uveoscleral outflow.
Some of the commonly prescribed eye drops such as
- Latanoprost: Xalatan Eye Drops
- Bimatoprost: Lumigan Eye Drops and Careprost.
- Travoprost: Travatan
Dark Blue: Beta Blockers Combination
These combination eye drop also used in treatment of glaucoma. Eye drops of these groups
- Combigan (Brimonidine tartrate +Timolol)
- Cosopt (Dorzolamide HCL + Timolol)
Gray: NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug)
NSAID Eye drops help to decrease inflammation and decrease pain by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes. These enzymes catalyze the conversion of arachidonic acid into prostaglandins and thromboxanes both powerful mediators of inflammation.
NSAID Eye Drops
- Ketorolac Tromethamine Eye Drop: Acular, Acuvail
- Bromfenac: Bromsite, Bromday
- Diclofenac sodium: Voltaren, Profenac
- Flurbiprofen Sodium: Flur
- Nepafenac eye drop: Nevanac
Tan: Antibiotics Eye Drop
Antibiotics eye drops are used in treatment of bacterial infection of an eyes such as pink eye (conjunctivitis), corneal ulcers, eye lid infections etc.
Antibiotics eye drops generic name and trade name
- Ciprofloxacin Ophthalmic solution 0.3%: Ciloxan
- Ofloxacin: Ocuflox
- Gatifloxacin: Zymar, Zymaxid
- Moxifloaxcin: Vigamox, Moxeza
White: Topical Anesthetics and OTC Eye drops
White cap is used for other common ophthalmic medications such as topical anesthetics, over-the-counter products like artificial tears, anti-allergic eye drops, etc.
Example of topical anesthetic eye drop Proparacaine,
Artificial eye drops: Systane Tears, Refresh tear, Dry eye relief, Natural tears, Soothe Xp
Anti allergic eye drops: Naphcon-A, Visine, Pataday