Compare Zioptan vs. pilocarpine

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.


Zioptan (tafluprost)

Prescription only
Lowers eye pressure and controls glaucoma.

Zioptan (tafluprost) is often a first choice treatment for lowering eye pressure to prevent and treat glaucoma, but is preservative-free so it has special storage instructions.

Lowers eye pressure and constricts the pupil.

Isopto Carpine (pilocarpine) is a very effective first choice medicine for treating high eye pressure to prevent the onset or worsening of glaucoma, but you may have to use up to 4 times daily.

  • Easy to use, with single-use containers and one drop daily in the evening.
  • Can use with other eye drops, if needed for better results.
  • Zioptan (tafluprost) is the only medicine in its class without preservatives, which may be less irritating to the eye.
  • It takes about 1 hour for Isopto Carpine (pilocarpine) to lower dangerously high eye pressure.
  • It does not require dose adjustments in patients with liver or kidney problems.
  • Available as a generic.
  • Zioptan (tafluprost) can permanently change your eyes and eyelids to brown, even after you stop using it.
  • Zioptan (tafluprost) may darken and increase the length, thickness and number of eyelashes, irritating the eyes.
  • No generic available, so can be expensive.
  • Is preservative-free so it should only be used 30 days after opening.
  • Isopto Carpine (pilocarpine) causes the pupil of the eye to become smaller, which results in dim vision, particularly at night.
  • Alternatives are easier to use than this medication, since it requires more drops throughout the day.
  • Isopto Carpine (pilocarpine) is a recommended choice, but it may not work for more serious conditions.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Eye drops
  • Eye drops
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Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Heache
  • Common cold
  • Cough
  • Blurry vision
See more detailed side effects
The Isopto Carpine (pilocarpine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Darkening of the eyes
    • Long term use
  • Darkening of lashes
    • Long term use
  • Darkening of contact lenses
    • (Re)inserting contact lenses too soon after applying Zioptan (tafluprost)
  • Eye injury/infection
    • Sharing eye drops with others
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Reduced visual acuity
  • Retinal disease
    • Retinal disease
  • Increased intraocular pressure in children
    • Use of Isopto Carpine (pilocarpine) in pediatric patients
See more detailed risks and warnings