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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Fainting. Call your doctor immediately.
Common

Burning or stinging of the eyes, fatigue, dry mouth, eye discomfort, drowsiness.
Less Common

Excess tear production, redness of eyes or inner lining of the eyelids, headache, swelling of eye or eyelid, eye ache or pain, blurring or other changes in vision, dizziness, mental depression, insomnia, muscle pain or weakness, nausea, increased blood pressure, vomiting, anxiety, pounding heartbeat, change in taste, crusting in corner of eye or on eyelid, discoloration of eyeball, paleness of inner lining of eyelid, dry eyes, sensitivity of eyes to light.
Brimonidine Tartrate


Drug Class:
Antiglaucoma agent

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: No

Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Ophthalmic solution

Why Prescribed
To treat glaucoma.

How It Works
Glaucoma, a sight-threatening disorder, occurs when aqueous humor (fluid inside the eye) cannot drain properly, causing increased pressure within the eyeball (intraocular pressure). Increased eye pressure can damage the optic nerve and lead to a gradually progressive loss of vision. Brimonidine decreases the production of aqueous humor and promotes its outflow, thereby reducing intraocular pressure.

Range and Frequency
1 drop of brimonidine in each eye 3 times a day at 8-hour intervals.

Onset of Effect
Within 60 minutes.

Duration of Action
8 hours or more.

Dietary Advice
No special restrictions.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not allow the medicine to freeze.

Missed Dose
Apply it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
The decision to stop using the drug should be made by your doctor.

Prolonged Use
You should see your doctor regularly for tests and examinations as part of glaucoma follow-up if you take this drug for a prolonged period.

Over 60
Adverse reactions may be more likely and more severe in older patients.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Do not drive or engage in hazardous work until you determine how the drug affects your vision.

Alcohol
Use alcohol with caution.

Pregnancy
In animal studies, brimonidine caused impaired fetal circulation. Human studies have not been done. Before you take brimonidine, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant.

Breast Feeding
Brimonidine may pass into breast milk; caution is advised. Consult your doctor for advice.

Infants and Children
The safety and effectiveness of brimonidine in infants and children under the age of 2 have not been established.

Special Concerns
To use the eye drops, first wash your hands. Tilt your head back. Gently apply pressure to the inside corner of the eyelid and with the index finger of the same hand, pull downward on the lower eyelid to make a space. Drop the medicine into this space and close your eye. Apply pressure for 1 or 2 minutes while keeping the eye closed without blinking. Then wash your hands again. Make sure the tip of the dropper does not touch your eye, finger, or any other surface. Bromonidine may make your eyes more sensitive to sunlight. If this occurs, wear sunglasses or avoid bright light as comfort dictates.

Overdose Symptoms
No specific ones have been reported.

What to Do
An overdose of brimonidine is unlikely to be life-threatening. However, if someone takes a much larger dose than prescribed or accidentally ingests the medicine, call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
Consult your doctor for advice if you are taking MAO inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, central nervous system depressants, beta-blockers, antihypertensives, or digitalis drugs (such as digoxin).

Food Interactions
No known food interactions.

Disease Interactions
Caution is advised when taking brimonidine. Consult your doctor if you have cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, liver disease, depression, cerebral or coronary insufficiency, Raynaud's phenomenon, orthostatic hypotension, or thromboangiitis obliterans.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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