Alphagan eye drops (Brimonidine) work
Alphagan eye drops (Brimonidine) contain the active ingredient brimonidine, which is a type of medicine called an alpha agonist. It works by stimulating alpha receptors found on blood vessels in the eye. The pressure within the eyeball is naturally maintained by a continuous flow of liquid called aqueous humour through the eyeball. Aqueous humour is produced by a part of the eye called the ciliary body. It drains out of the eyeball through channels called the trabecular meshwork. If the outflow of aqueous humour is blocked, as in glaucoma, the aqueous humour builds up inside the eye, increasing the pressure within the eyeball. This pressure needs to be reduced, as otherwise it can damage the optic nerve and impair vision as a result. Brimonidine stimulates alpha receptors found on the blood vessels that supply the ciliary body. This causes the blood vessels to constrict, and reduces the amount of watery fluid that filters out of the blood vessels to form aqueous humour. Brimonidine therefore works by reducing the inflow of aqueous humour into the eyeball, which decreases the pressure within the eye. It is used to treat conditions where there is raised pressure in the eye, such as glaucoma. Brimonidine eye drops are used to treat glaucoma in people who cannot use beta-blocker eye drops. They may also be used in conjunction with other types of eye drop, for example beta-blockers or prostglandin analogues, to treat glaucoma in people whose eye pressure has not been lowered sufficiently with one medicine.
Eye drops are used to produce a local effect in the eye, with minimal effect on other parts of the body. You can further minimise the amount of medicine that is absorbed into your bloodstream and increase the local action in the eye by pressing on your tear duct (the corner of the eye closest to the nose) while putting in the eye drops and for a minute after.
Alphagan P (brimonidine tartrate) Ophthalmic Solution is an antiglaucoma medication used to treat open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension (high pressure inside the eye). Some strengths of Alphagan P are available in generic form. Common side effects of Alphagan P include:
- eye discomfort/itching/redness/burning/stinging,
- feeling like something is in your eye,
- blurred vision,
- redness of the eye or eyelid,
- swollen or puffy eyes,
- sensitivity to light,
- upset stomach,
- muscle pain,
- dry nose or mouth,
- sleep problems (insomnia), or
- unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth.
Tell your doctor if you have unlikely but serious side effects of Alphagan P including:
- fast or pounding heartbeats,
- persistent headache,
- eye pain or swelling,
- extreme sensitivity to light, or
- vision changes.
The recommended dose of Alphagan P is one drop in the affected eye(s) three times daily, approximately 8 hours apart. It may be used concomitantly with other topical ophthalmic drug products to lower intraocular pressure. If more than one topical ophthalmic product is to be used, the different products should be instilled at least 5 minutes apart. Alphagan P may interact with blood pressure medications, digoxin, beta-blockers, or antidepressants. Tell your doctor all medications you are taking. Alphagan P should be used only when prescribed during pregnancy. It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Our Alphagan P (brimonidine tartrate) Ophthalmic Solution Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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