written by Dr. William McSwain
These medications reduce eye pressure by decreasing the amount of fluid made inside the eye.
The eye drop form of this medicine may cause some burning and stinging in the eye when this medicine is first taken. Additionally, the eye may become red and the eyelids swollen, very similar to an allergic type reaction. If this occurs, the eye drop should be discontinued and your doctor should be contacted.
The pill or capsule form of this medicine may produce tingling of the fingers and toes. Frequent urination may occur when these medications are first taken, but this is usually temporary and disappears with long term use. Fatigue, skin rash, weight loss, depression, decreased sexual drive, kidney stones, and an altered taste for food (especially carbonated drinks) all have been noted as possible side effects. Patients also taking diuretics for blood pressure may develop a low potassium level. Nausea and diarrhea may occur and can be minimized by taking the pills with meals.
Changes in the blood count (decreased white cells, red cells and platelets) may occur. This is reversible in some cases, but in extremely rare cases, may lead to death. Please have your primary care physician check your blood counts every six months while taking this medicine.
Although rare, patients who have had a previous “Sulfa” allergy could react to these preparations. Adverse reactions are unusual, even in patients who have previously been told they had “Sulfa” allergies. However, please inform your doctor if you have been told that you had an allergy to “Sulfa” in the past.
Although the above side effects may occur, most people can tolerate the drops without difficulty. Systemic side effects are more frequent with oral preparations. Side effects may be reduced or eliminated by reducing the dosage or by switching to a different medication
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