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Brand Name(s) : Liquifilm Tears, Sno-Tears
Side Effects


Polyvinyl alcohol should be used with caution in:

  • Wearers of contact lenses (these should be removed before use and can be re-inserted after 15 minutes)

It should not be used in:

Also see list of precautions and interactions


Store polyvinyl alcohol eye drops below 25°C. Do not refrigerate or freeze.


What is it used for?

  • Polyvinyl alcohol is used as a lubricant for the relief of symptoms of dry eye and for artificial eyes.
  • It is a type of artificial tears.
  • It is used as a substitute for tears in people that do not produce enough of their own and as a lubricant for artificial eyes. A lack of tears will cause the eyes to become dry, red and painful.
  • In general this drug is used to lubricate the eye to relieve dryness and irritation in people who do not produce enough tears (dry eye conditions). It is also used as a lubricant for artificial eyes.
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include relief from the symptoms of dry conditions of the eye and the associated discomfort.

Listed below are the typical uses of polyvinyl alcohol:

  • Relief of the symptoms of dry eyes and eye irritation associated with a lack of tear production
  • As a lubricant for artificial eyes

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.


How often do I take it?

  • Use polyvinyl alcohol eye drops exactly as your doctor has told you. The usual dose is one or two drops in the affected eye(s) as often as needed.
  • Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Polyvinyl alcohol eye drops may cause temporary blurred vision. If this happens, do not drive or operate machinery until the effect has worn off. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • Always complete the full course as prescribed by your doctor.


  • Eye irritation
  • Eye burning
  • Eye stinging
  • Temporary blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Watery eyes
  • A sensation of having something in your eye
  • Eye itching
  • Allergic (hypersensitive) reaction in the eye

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Feeling unwell
  • Long-lasting redness or irritation of the eye
  • Eye pain
  • Changes in sight

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.


Before taking polyvinyl alcohol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other artificial tears; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist in case of:

  • Allergy (hypersensitivity) to any of the ingredients

Before using this medication tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Alcohol does not affect polyvinyl alcohol.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below


Polyvinyl alcohol is suitable to take during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Polyvinyl alcohol is suitable to take if you are breastfeeding.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.

There are no known significant interactions between polyvinyl alcohol and other medicines. If you experience any unusual symptoms while using this medicine with other medicines, tell your prescriber.

If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.


The effects of overdose with polyvinyl alcohol eye drops are not known.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of polyvinyl alcohol or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.


These eye drops are usually used as required.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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