Font Size
A
A
A
...
7
...

Understanding Glaucoma Medications (cont.)

Alpha Agonists

Alpha agonists became available in the 1990s and are used today as third-line drugs, with prostanoids being first line and beta blockers being second line. These include various formulations of brimonidine (Alphagan, Alphagan-P).

Alpha agonists work to both decrease production of fluid and increase drainage. Alphagan P has a purite preservative that breaks down into natural tear components and may be more effective for people who have allergic reactions to preservatives in other eye drops. Brimonidine is currently available in a generic form.

Who should not use these medications:

  • Persons allergic to alpha adrenergic agonists

Use: These drugs are given as eyedrops to the affected eye(s).

Side effects: These eye drops should not be used while wearing contact lenses. Local allergic reactions are common, characterized by redness of the eyes and itching of the eyes. Excessive tearing, eye pain, or lid crusting may occur. Burning, stinging, foreign body sensation (something in the eye), blurred vision, and itching have also been observed.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/21/2012

Must Read Articles Related to Understanding Glaucoma Medications

Adult Glaucoma Suspect
Adult Glaucoma Suspect Glaucoma is usually high pressure inside the eye that damages the optic nerve and can result in permanent vision loss. Not all 3 criteria (that is, high pressur...learn more >>
Allergic Reaction
Allergic Reaction An allergic reaction is an overreaction to a harmless substance. Symptoms and signs of an allergic reaction include hives, rashes, swelling, itching, wheezing, ...learn more >>
Angle Recession Glaucoma
Angle Recession Glaucoma Traumatic glaucoma refers to a group of ocular disorders that occur after the eye undergoes trauma. Following this trauma, different mechanisms can cause an abn...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Glaucoma Medications:

Glaucoma Medications - Side Effects

Do you experience troubling side effects from your glaucoma medication?





Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Glaucoma, Unilateral: Treatment & Medication »

While any type of glaucoma can be unilateral, primary open-angle glaucoma, primary angle-closure glaucoma, primary infantile glaucoma, juvenile-onset glaucoma, and pigmentary glaucoma are generally bilateral diseases, the severity of which may be asymmetric in the two eyes.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary