Alphagan (brimonidine) eye drops are used to treat open-angle glaucoma, ocular hypertension, and to reduce pressure inside the eyes. It works by lowering high fluid pressure in the eye, which reduces the risk of vision loss.
Brimonidine belongs to the family of medications known as alpha-2-adrenergic receptor agonists. It is available in eye-drop form and is used to reduce the pressure inside the eye for people with open-angle glaucoma or intraocular hypertension (increased pressure in the eye).
Uses and Dosage
Use Alphagan eye drops as directed by a healthcare provider to avoid getting the medication in your mouth or touching the dropper tip to any surface. If you have any further questions about the use of Alphagan eye drops, you should consult with your healthcare provider directly.
To use Alphagan eye drops (Brimonidine):
- Wash your hands before handling the medication to avoid contamination.
- If you wear contact lenses, remove them before using the medication.
- Tilt your head back and look upward, then pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pouch.
- Hold the dropper directly over your eye and apply one drop of the solution into the pouch.
- If you need to use drops in both eyes, repeat steps 3 and 4 for your other eye.
- After using the medication, close your eyes for 1-2 minutes but do not blink or rub your eyes.
- To avoid draining out the medication, apply gentle pressure to the inner corner of your eye.
- Wait at least 15 minutes before putting in your contact lenses again.
- Do not rinse the dropper and replace the dropper cap after each use.
The usual recommended dose for adults is one drop of brimonidine 0.2% solution into the affected eye(s) twice daily, approximately 12 hours apart (e.g., in the morning and at bedtime).
Common Side Effects of Alphagan Eyedrops (Brimonidine):
- Dry mouth
- Red eye
- Eye burning and stinging
- Feeling like there’s something in your eye
- Small white patches on the inside of the eyelids
- Allergic reactions in the eye
- Itchy eyes
Serious Side Effects of Alphagan Eyedrops (Brimonidine):
- Abnormal vision
- Color change to or thinning of the cornea
- Eye irritation
- Eye pain
- Eyelid inflammation
- Flu-like symptoms
- Light sensitivity
- Muscle pain
- Pale or white eyelids
- Red eyelids
- Stomach upset
- Swollen or crusty eyelids
Form and strength
Alphagan Eyedrops (Brimonidine) is available in the following forms and strength:
Alphagan Eyedrops: Eye Solution
Brimonidine: Eye Solution
- Caution should be used in patients with depression, cerebral or coronary insufficiency, Raynaud’s phenomenon, orthostatic hypotension, or thromboangiitis obliterans.
- Alphagan may interact with other medications or supplements. Inform your healthcare provider of all medications and supplements you are taking before starting Alphagan eye drops.
- Alphagan may cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Discontinue use and contact your healthcare provider if you experience any concerning symptoms.
- Caution should be exercised in patients with low blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease.
- Alphagan may cause blurred vision or other visual disturbances. It causes drowsiness or dizziness, which may impair your ability to operate machinery or drive a car. Use caution when driving or operating potentially hazardous machinery.
- Patients with liver impairment should use Alphagan with caution, as the medication is primarily metabolized in the liver.
- Alphagan may have additive hypotensive effects when used in combination with other medications that lower blood pressure.
- If you develop an eye infection or experience eye trauma while using Alphagan eye drops, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
- Alphagan may cause dry mouth or other systemic effects, especially in older adults. Use caution and discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What should I do if I miss my scheduled time for taking my drop?
If you miss a dose of Alphagan, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
Can Alphagan interact with other medications or supplements?
Alphagan can interact with certain medications and supplements. Be sure to inform your healthcare provider of all medications and supplements you are taking before starting Alphagan eye drops.
How should I store Alphagan eye drops?
Alphagan should be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight and moisture. Do not use the eye drops if they have changed color or consistency.
How long can I safely use Alphagan eye drops for?
The length of time you can safely use Alphagan eye drops will depend on your individual condition and treatment plan.