Antiperspirant wipes and pupil changes in children


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As a pediatric ophthalmologist, I provide care to children with many different conditions that affect their eyes and vision. Recently, I have seen several cases of patients with unequal pupil sizes or drastically dilated pupils (also known as mydriasis) —symptoms that developed after they had used certain antiperspirant wipes. These wipes contain a medication called glycopyrronium (Qbrexa), which reduces excessive underarm sweating. 

My colleagues and I in the Department of Ophthalmology at Texas Children’s Hospital were interested in learning more about these cases and decided to conduct a case review study. The findings of our study were recently published in the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and were also presented at this year’s American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting. 

We believe the findings from this study are important and can be used to educate patients, families and primary care physicians about the side effects of glycopyrronium that can impact the eyes.

Here’s what you should know:

  • Patients whose eyes are exposed to the medication on the wipes may suddenly notice a dilated pupil in one of their eyes. They may also have some blurred vision in that eye.
  • It can be frightening for parents to see this change in their child’s eyes, but for the patients in our study who exhibited the changes described above, the symptoms resolved on their own within hours or days of exposure.  
  • If your child uses these antiperspirant wipes and you notice that their pupils are not the same size or if either pupil is drastically dilated, check with your health care provider. Be sure to mention that you understand there could be a connection between the use of the wipes and pupil size changes.
  • To avoid contact with the medication in the wipes to the eyes, use gloves or have your child use gloves when applying the glycopyrronium antiperspirant wipes.

Ophthalmology at Texas Children’s Hospital 

Texas Children’s ophthalmologists perform more than 1,100 procedures each year and see more than 16,000 patients annually. The team is also involved in clinical research to help improve the treatment of pediatric eye disorders. 

Patients are seen by Texas Children's ophthalmologists through self-referral or physician referral.

Click here to learn more about Ophthalmology at Texas Children’s Hospital.