HealthSearch

Health Guide

Brimonidine (Ophthalmic route)

Pronunciation:

bri-MOE-ni-deen

Brand Names:

  • Alphagan P

Dosage Forms:

  • Solution

Classifications:

Therapeutic

Antiglaucoma

Pharmacologic

Alpha-2 Adrenergic Agonist

Uses of This Medicine:

Brimonidine ophthalmic (eye) drops is used alone or together with other medicines to treat increased pressure in the eye that is caused by open-angle glaucoma or a condition called hypertension of the eye (ocular hypertension). This medicine is an alpha-adrenergic agonist.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of brimonidine eye drops in children 2 years of age and older. Because of brimonidine's toxicity, use in children younger than 2 years of age is not recommended.

Older adults

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of brimonidine eye drops in the elderly.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersBAnimal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.

Breast-feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Depression or
  • Heart attack, history of or
  • Heart disease or
  • Orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure when standing up) or
  • Raynaud disease (blood vessel disease) or
  • Stroke, history of or
  • Thromboangiitis obliterans (blood vessel disease) Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Use this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

If your doctor ordered two different eye drops to be used together, wait at least 5 minutes after you put the first medicine in your eye to use the second medicine. This will prevent the second medicine from “washing out” the first one.

To use the eye drops:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
  • Shake the eye drops well just before each use.
  • Tilt your head back and press your finger gently on the skin just beneath the lower eyelid. Pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to make a space. Drop the medicine into this space. Let go of the eyelid and gently close the eyes. Do not blink. Keep the eyes closed and apply pressure to the inner corner of the eye with your finger for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medicine to be absorbed by the eye.
  • If you think you did not get the drop of medicine into your eye properly, repeat the directions with a second drop.
  • To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface, including the eye. Keep the container tightly closed when you are not using the drops.
  • If germs get in the bottle, your eye could become infected. Serious eye infections can cause blindness.
  • The eye drops will normally be a clear liquid with a greenish-yellow color. If the color changes or the liquid becomes cloudy, do not use the medicine. Get a new bottle from the pharmacy.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For ophthalmic dosage form (eye drops):
    • For glaucoma or ocular hypertension:
      • Adults, teenagers, and children 2 years of age and older One drop in the affected eye 3 times a day, about 8 hours apart.
      • Children younger than 2 years of age Use is not recommended.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

The eye doctor will want to examine your or your child's eyes at regular visits to make sure the medicine is working properly and is not causing unwanted effects.

If itching, redness, swelling, or other signs of eye or eyelid irritation occur, stop using this medicine and check with your doctor. These symptoms may mean that you or your child are allergic to this medicine.

If you or your child have an eye injury or infection, or need to have eye surgery, talk with your doctor right away. You may need to change the medicine or stop using it.

This medicine may cause some people to become lightheaded, dizzy, drowsy, tired, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.

This medicine may add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicines for allergies; sedatives or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; medicine for seizures or barbiturates; muscle relaxants; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using this medicine.

Brimonidine may cause your eyes to become more sensitive to light than they are normally. Wearing sunglasses and avoiding too much exposure to bright light may help lessen the discomfort.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Blurred or loss of vision
burning, dry, or itching eyes
discharge or excessive tearing
disturbed color perception
double vision
halos around lights
headache
itching of the eye
night blindness
overbright appearance of lights
redness of the eye or inner lining of the eyelid
swelling of the eyelid
tearing of the eye
tunnel vision
Less common
Ache or pain in the eye
blindness
bloody eye
blurred vision or other change in vision
change in color vision
confusion
decreased vision
difficult or labored breathing
difficulty seeing at night
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
drainage from the eye
fainting
fast heartbeat
feeling of something in the eye
gradual blurring or loss of vision
increased blood pressure
increased sensitivity of the eye to light
mental depression
muscle pain
nausea or vomiting
oozing in the eye
redness, swelling, or itching of the eye or eyelid
runny or stuffy nose
seeing flashes or sparks of light
seeing floating dark spots or material before eyes
seeing floating spots before the eyes or a veil or curtain appearing across part of vision
shortness of breath
skin rash
sneezing
sweating
swelling of the eye
tightness in the chest
unusual tiredness or weakness
watery eyes
wheezing
Incidence not known
Bluish lips or skin
chest pain or discomfort
confusion
fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
feeling of warmth or heat
flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck
irregular, fast, slow, or shallow breathing
low body temperature
muscle aches or weakness
shivering
slow or irregular heartbeat
weak or feeble pulse
weight gain

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Burning, stinging, or tearing of the eye
drowsiness or tiredness
dryness of the mouth
Less common
Acid or sour stomach
anxiety
bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
belching
body aches or pain
change in taste
chills
congestion
cough
cough producing mucus
crusting on eyelid or corner of eye
diarrhea
difficulty breathing
discoloration of white part of the eye
dryness of the eye
dryness or soreness of the throat
fever
general feeling of discomfort or illness
hoarseness
indigestion
joint pain
lack or loss of strength
large amounts of cholesterol in the blood
lid disorder
loss of appetite
muscle aches and pains
pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
paleness of the eye or inner lining of the eyelid
passing of gas
pounding heartbeat
rash
shivering
sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
sleeplessness
sneezing
sore throat
stomach discomfort, fullness, upset, or pain
tender, swollen glands in the neck
trouble with sleeping
trouble with swallowing
troubled breathing
unable to sleep
voice changes
Incidence not known
Constricted, pinpoint, or small pupils (black part of the eye)
redness of the skin
sensitivity to light
throbbing pain
unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
unusual weak feeling
unusually warm skin

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 10/12/2016
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

Truven Health Analytics. All rights reserved.

Thomson & A.D.A.M