Brimonidine Ophthalmic : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Brimonidine ophthalmic is used to lower pressure in the eyes in patients who have glaucoma (high pressure in the eyes that can damage nerves and cause vision loss) and ocular hypertension (pressure in the eyes that is higher than normal. but not high enough to cause vision). lost). Brimonidine belongs to a class of drugs called alpha adrenergic agonists. Brimonidine works by decreasing the amount of fluid in the eyes.
How should this medicine be used?
Brimonidine ophthalmic comes as a solution (liquid) to instill into the eyes. It is usually instilled into the affected eyes three times a day. Use brimonidine eye drops at around the same time each day and try to space your 3 daily doses about 8 hours apart. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Use brimonidine eye drops exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of them or use them more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Brimonidine eye drops may control your condition, but they will not cure it. Keep using brimonidine eye drops even if you feel fine. Do not stop using brimonidine eye drops without consulting your doctor.
To instill the eye drops, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands well with soap and water.
- Check the dropper tip to make sure it is not chipped or cracked.
- Avoid touching the tip of the dropper against your eye or anything else; eye drops and droppers must be kept clean.
- While tilting your head back, lower the lower lid of your eye with your index finger to form a pocket.
- Hold the dropper (tip down) with the other hand, as close to the eye as possible without touching it.
- Rest the remaining fingers of that hand against your face.
- While looking up, gently squeeze the dropper so that a single drop falls into the pocket formed by the lower eyelid. Remove your index finger from the lower eyelid.
- Close your eye for 2 to 3 minutes and tilt your head down as if looking at the ground. Try not to blink or squeeze your eyelids.
- Place a finger over the tear duct and apply gentle pressure.
- Wipe any excess fluid from your face with a tissue.
- If you are using more than one drop in the same eye, wait at least 5 minutes before instilling the next drop.
- Replace and tighten the dropper bottle cap. Do not clean or rinse the dropper tip.
- Wash your hands to remove any medicine.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using brimonidine eye drops,
- Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to brimonidine eye drops or any other medications.
- Do not use brimonidine eye drops if you are taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl), or tranylcypromine (Parnate).
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Adapin, Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), protriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), (Vivactil) and trimipramine (Surmontil); barbiturates such as phenobarbital and secobarbital (Seconal); digoxin (Lanoxin); medications for anxiety, high blood pressure, mental illness, pain, or seizures; sedative sleeping pills; and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
- If you are using other topical ophthalmic medications, instill them 5 minutes before or 5 minutes after applying the brimonidine eye drops.
- Tell your doctor if you often feel dizzy when sitting or standing up after lying down and if you have or have ever had depression; conditions that affect blood circulation, including Raynaud’s disease (a condition that causes attacks of low blood circulation in the fingers and toes), thromboangitis obliterans (a condition that causes poor blood circulation in the hands and feet ) and problems with blood flow to your heart or brain; or heart, kidney, or liver disease.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while using brimonidine eye drops, call your doctor. Do not breastfeed while you are using brimonidine eye drops.
- If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using brimonidine eye drops.
- You should know that brimonidine eye drops can make you drowsy. Your vision may be blurry for a few minutes after applying the eye drops. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Ask your doctor about the safe use of alcohol while using brimonidine eye drops. Alcohol can make the drowsiness caused by brimonidine eye drops worse.
- Tell your doctor if you wear soft contact lenses. Remove your soft contact lenses before applying brimonidine eye drops and wait at least 15 minutes after using the medication to replace your lenses.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Instill the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not give a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Brimonidine eye drops may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- itchy, irritated, red, stinging, or burning eyes
- dry eyes
- watery or runny eyes
- red or swollen eyelids
- sensitivity to light
- blurred vision
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- dry mouth
- runny nose and other cold symptoms
- sore throat
- flu-like symptoms
- pain or pressure in the face
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- difficulty breathing
- seeing specks or flashes of light
- blind spots
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure they cannot be consumed by pets, children, and others. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not resistant to children and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or is unable to wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
What other information should I know?
Keep all your appointments with your doctor.
Don’t let anyone use your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
- Alphagan P®
Brand names of combination products
- Combigan® (containing Brimonidine, Timolol)
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.