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Home / Drugs / Starting with F / Fluorescein

A phthalic indicator dye that appears yellow-green in normal tear film and bright green in a more alkaline medium, such as the aqueous humor, and is used therapeutically as a diagnostic aid in corneal injuries and corneal trauma. It has been approved by FDA for use in externally applied drugs and cosmetics. (From Merck Index, 12th ed; American Medical Association Drug Evaluations; 1995, p2275)
BrandsAcid Yellow 73
Fluorescein acid
Fluorescein disodium salt
Fluorescein disodium salt dihydrate
Fluorescein, Disodium Salt, Fluorescein, disodium salt
CategoriesContrast Media
Fluorescent Dyes
ManufacturersNovartis pharmaceuticals corp
Alcon inc
PackagersAccutome Inc.
Akorn Inc.
Alcon Laboratories
Altaire Pharmaceuticals
Amphastar Pharmaceuticals
Bausch & Lomb Inc.
Cardinal Health
Conta Care Ophthalmics and Diagnostics
Deca Pharmaceuticals LLC
Dispensing Solutions
Diversified Healthcare Services Inc.
Eye Care and Cure Corp.
Eye Supply Usa Inc.
HUB Pharmaceuticals
Nomax Inc.
OMJ Pharmaceuticals
Physicians Total Care Inc.
Southwood Pharmaceuticals
Taylor Pharmaceuticals
Wilson Ophthalmic Corp.
Synonyms2-(6-Hydroxy-3-oxo-3H-xanthen-9-yl)-benzoic acid


For diagnostic imaging. Primarily indicated in diagnostic fluorescein angiography or angioscopy of the fundus and of the iris vasculature.

mechanism of action

Fluorescein sodium is used extensively as a diagnostic tool in the field of ophthalmology. Fluorescein is a fluorescent compound or fluorophore having a maximum absorbance of 494 m and an emission maximum of 521 nm. The yellowish-green fluorescence of the compound can be used to demarcate the vascular area under observation, distinguishing it from adjacent areas. It is applied topically in the form of a drop or it can be injected intravenously to produce a fluorescein angiogram. Topical fluorescein is a useful tool in the diagnosis of corneal abrasions, corneal ulcers, herpetic corneal infections, and dry eye. Fluorescein angiography is used to diagnose and categorize macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, inflammatory intraocular conditions, and intraocular tumors.


Rapidly distributed

route of elimination

Fluorescein and its metabolites are mainly eliminated via renal excretion.