GLAUCOMA DROPS: BRIMONIDINE
written by Dr. William McSwain
Brimonidine tartrate 0.2% (alpha-2 agonist) –This medicine lowers the eye pressure primarily by reducing the amount of fluid that is made in the eye. It also may lower the eye pressure by improving the ease with which the fluid drains out of the eye. The brand name is called Alphagan-P and contains brimonidine tartrate 0.1%.
SIDE EFFECTS INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:
Some patients notice burning and stinging in the eye when the drop is put in. Additionally, a dry mouth is common if the drop is introduced into the tear duct and drained into the nose and throat. Redness of the eyes and crusting of the eyelids may also occur. It should not be used by infants or young children.
Brimonidine should be used cautiously in those patients using a MAO (monoamine oxidase inhibitor), a medication category that is commonly used as an antidepressant. Consult your primary care physician if there are any questions regarding this.
MINIMIZING THE RISK OF SIDE EFFECTS:
After administering a drop, keep the eye closed for two minutes and gently compress (with a tissue, if desired) the area over the tear duct near the inner corner of the eyelids. This will make the medication less likely to get into the bloodstream and affect other parts of the body by preventing it from draining from your eye into your nose and the back of your throat.
DOSAGE: 1-3 x daily