Definition of pilocarpine in English:



  • [mass noun] A volatile alkaloid obtained from jaborandi leaves, used to contract the pupils and to relieve pressure in the eye in glaucoma patients.

    • ‘Oral pilocarpine is contraindicated in patients with uncontrolled asthma and in patients in whom miosis is undesirable, such as patients with acute iritis or narrow angle (angle closure) glaucoma.’
    • ‘In the sweat test, a small electric current is used to carry the chemical pilocarpine into the skin of the child's forearm.’
    • ‘Parasympathomimetic drugs such as pilocarpine constrict the pupil and ‘pull’ on the trabecular meshwork, increasing the flow of aqueous out of the eye.’
    • ‘The traditional treatment using the drug pilocarpine lacked systemic side effects but produced pinpoint pupils and was unpopular with patients.’
    • ‘The plant's leaves contain pilocarpine, a rare alkaloid used in the treatment of glaucoma and when diagnosing cystic fibrosis.’


Late 19th century: from modern Latin Pilocarpus (genus name of the jaborandi) + -ine.