VUITY Eye Drops: What To Know

If you have age-related blurry vision, here's everything you need to know about VUITY.

Eye drops meant to treat presbyopia, or age-related blurry near vision, are available by prescription across the U.S. VUITY—also known as pilocarpine HCI ophthalmic solution—is the first and only prescription eye drop for treating the condition.

The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved VUITY for treating presbyopia in adults. The approval followed phase 3 clinical studies of the eye drops that showed the drops worked in as little as 15 minutes, with effects lasting for up to six hours.

Those with presbyopia may be curious to know how VUITY works and when they can start using the drops for themselves. Here's what you need to know.

new eye drops get rid of the need for reading glasses
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What Leads to Presbyopia, and Who Does It Affect?

Presbyopia affects 1.8 billion people around the world. It affects so many people because it's a normal part of aging. (The term "presbyopia" actually comes from the Greek word meaning "old eye.")

The condition starts with the lenses in your eyes. A clear lens sits behind your iris (the colored part of your eye) and is flexible enough to change shape to focus light onto the retina so you can see.

The lenses of younger people are soft and flexible. But as you age—particularly after 40—the lenses become more rigid and don't change shape as easily.

When that happens, it's harder for you to see clearly up close. You may also need brighter lighting while reading or begin holding books or the newspaper at an arm's length to read easier, Selina McGee, OD, a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, told Health.

You might also be at a higher risk of having presbyopia earlier. Risk factors include:

  • Having farsightedness (hyperopia)
  • Taking certain medication (e.g., for allergies or depression)
  • Having diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), or some cardiac or neurological conditions

What To Know About VUITY

VUITY is considered a reformulated miotic eye drop: Its formula helps treat presbyopia by reducing the size of your pupil. Also, the recommended dose for VUITY is one drop in each eye daily.

There are precautions to take if you use other topical eye medications or contact lenses while also using VUITY. For example, a person should wait five minutes between topical eye treatments and 10 minutes before putting contacts in.

There are some potential side effects of using these eye drops, including:

  • Stinging or burning eyes
  • Itching, redness, tearing, or swelling of the eye
  • Headaches

The VUITY site cautions that the product may lead to short-term dim or dark vision. Also, users of VUITY should be careful with nighttime driving or doing something hazardous with low lighting.

Also, if you've been prescribed VUITY, you'll want to seek medical care if you have the following symptoms:

  • Side effects that are severe or don't go away
  • Sudden onset of flashing lights, floaters, or loss of vision
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Users of VUITY may also be at risk for retinal detachment, which is considered a medical emergency and can happen with miotics. Retinal detachment refers to when the tissue in the back of your eye is moved from its normal position. If left untreated, a retinal detachment could lead to vision loss or blindness.

While VUITY does offer another option to people with presbyopia, it isn't intended to completely replace your reading glasses. So, while you should talk to a healthcare provider if your close-up vision is blurry and you think you might be a good candidate for VUITY, keep your reading glasses handy in case you need them along with the eye drops.

How Can You Get VUITY if You Have Presbyopia?

If you're interested in trying VUITY, your first step should be setting up an appointment with an eye care professional—an ophthalmologist or an optometrist—and letting them know about your interest.

Eye care professionals diagnose presbyopia through an eye exam. If they think VUITY could help you, they can write you a prescription for the drug.

VUITY costs about $79 per bottle. The VUITY site also says that insurance companies aren't likely to cover the prescription medication, but you should check with an insurance company to determine if any coverage is available.

A Quick Review

VUITY eye drops are an FDA-approved treatment for presbyopia, which is blurry vision that occurs with age. The product helps with vision by making your pupils smaller so you can see better, but it has side effects like dim or dark vision.

VUITY is available by prescription from an eye care professional. However, you'll have to talk with an insurance company to find out if they will cover any of the costs for the drops.

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  1. Allergan. VUITY (pilocarpine HCI ophthalmic solution) 1.25%, the first and only FDA-approved eye drop to treat age-related blurry near vision (presbyopia), is now available.

  2. Allergan. U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves VUITY™ (pilocarpine HCI ophthalmic solution) 1.25%, the first and only eye drop to treat presbyopia (age-related blurry near vision).

  3. Jackson MA, Giyanani J, Shabaik Y, et al. In vitro and in-eye comparison of commercial pilocarpine ophthalmic solution and an optimized, reformulated pilocarpine for presbyopia treatmentOphthalmol Ther. 2022;11(2):869-879. doi:10.1007/s40123-022-00482-2

  4. American Academy of Ophthalmology. What is presbyopia?

  5. Berdahl J, Bala C, Dhariwal M, Lemp-Hull J, Thakker D, Jawla S. Patient and economic burden of presbyopia: a systematic literature reviewOPTH. 2020;14:3439-3450. doi:10.2147/OPTH.S269597

  6. VUITY. About VUITY.

  7. MedlinePlus. Pilocarpine ophthalmic.

  8. DailyMed. VUITY- pilocarpine hydrochloride solution/drops.

  9. National Eye Institute. Retinal detachment.

  10. National Eye Institute. Presbyopia.

  11. VUITY. Cost & savings.

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