Uses Of Brimonidine Ophthalmic
Ophthalmic brimonidine is used to lower pressure in the eyes in patients who have glaucoma (high pressure in the eyes that may 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 loss). Brimonidine is in a class of drugs called alpha-adrenergic agonists. Brimonidine works by decreasing the amount of fluid in the eyes.
Side Effects Of Brimonidine Ophthalmic
Brimonidine ophthalmic 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
Warnings & Precautions
Before using brimonidine ophthalmic:
- tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to brimonidine ophthalmic 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 (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil); barbiturates such as phenobarbital and secobarbital (Seconal); digoxin (Lanoxin); medications for anxiety, high blood pressure, mental illness, pain, or seizures; sedatives; sleeping pills; and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- if you are using any other topical eye medications, instill them 5 minutes before or 5 minutes after you instill brimonidine ophthalmic.
- tell your doctor if you often feel dizzy when you sit or stand from a lying position and if you have or have ever had depression; conditions that affect your blood circulation including Raynaud’s disease (a condition that causes attacks of low blood circulation to the fingers and toes), thromboangiitis obliterans (a condition that causes the 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 you are using brimonidine eye drops, call your doctor. Do not breast-feed while you are using brimonidine ophthalmic.
- 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 may make you drowsy. Your vision may be blurry for a few minutes after you instill the eye drops. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcohol while you are using brimonidine eophthalmic. 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 instilling brimonidine eye drops and wait at least 15 minutes after using the medication to replace your lenses.
Ophthalmic brimonidine comes as a solution (liquid) to instill in the eyes. It is usually instilled in the affected eye(s) three times a day. Use brimonidine eye drops at around the same times every 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 part 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 will not cure it. Continue to use brimonidine ophthalmic even if you feel well. Do not stop using brimonidine eye drops without talking to your doctor.
To instill the brimonidine ophthalmic, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Check the dropper tip to make sure that it is not chipped or cracked.
- Avoid touching the dropper tip against your eye or anything else; eye drops and droppers must be kept clean.
- While tilting your head back, pull down 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.
- Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your face.
- While looking up, gently squeeze the dropper so that a single drop of brimonidine ophthalmic falls into the pocket made by the lower eyelid. Remove your index finger from the lower eyelid.
- Close your eye for 2 to 3 minutes and tip your head down as though looking at the floor. Try not to blink or squeeze your eyelids.
- Place a finger on the tear duct and apply gentle pressure.
- Wipe any excess brimonidine ophthalmic from your face with a tissue.
- If you are to use more than one drop in the same eye, wait at least 5 minutes before instilling the next drop.
- Replace and tighten the cap on the dropper bottle. Do not wipe or rinse the dropper tip.
- Wash your hands to remove any medication.
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription of brimonidine ophthalmic.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.