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Brimonidine Ophthalmic

Why is this medication prescribed?

Brimonidine ophthalmic is used to treat glaucoma, a condition that increases pressure in the eye and leads to vision loss. Brimonidine ophthalmic is in a class of drugs called alpha-2 adrenergic agonists. Brimonidine ophthalmic works by decreasing the pressure in the eye.

How should this medicine be used?

Brimonidine ophthalmic comes as eyedrops. One drop is usually applied to the affected eyes three times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use brimonidine ophthalmic exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Brimonidine ophthalmic controls glaucoma but does not cure it. Continue to use brimonidine ophthalmic even if you feel well. Do not stop using brimonidine ophthalmic without talking to your doctor.

To use the eyedrops, follow these instructions:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Use a mirror or have someone else put the drops in your eye.
  • Remove the protective cap. Make sure that the end of the dropper is not chipped or cracked.
  • Avoid touching the dropper tip against your eye or anything else.
  • Hold the dropper tip down at all times to prevent drops from flowing back into the bottle and contaminating the remaining contents.
  • Lie down or tilt your head back.
  • Holding the bottle between your thumb and index finger, place the dropper tip as near as possible to your eyelid without touching it.
  • Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your cheek or nose.
  • With the index finger of your other hand, pull the lower lid of the eye down to form a pocket.
  • Drop the prescribed number of drops into the pocket made by the lower lid and the eye. Placing drops on the surface of the eyeball can cause stinging.
  • Close your eye and press lightly against the lower lid with your finger for 2 - 3 minutes to keep the medication in the eye. Do not blink.
  • Replace and tighten the cap right away. Do not wipe or rinse it off.
  • Wipe off any excess liquid from your cheek with a clean tissue. Wash your hands again.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using brimonidine ophthalmic eyedrops,

  • tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to brimonidine ophthalmic or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially amitriptyline (Elavil); beta blockers such as acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin), betaxolol (Betoptic), bisoprolol (Zebeta), carteolol (Cartrol), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor), nadolol (Corgard), penbutolol (Levatol), pindolol (Visken), propranolol (Inderal), sotalol (Betapace), and timolol (Blocadren); clomipramine (Anafranil); desipramine (Norpramin); digoxin (Lanoxin), digitoxin (Crystodigin); imipramine (Tofranil); medications for hypertension, medications for pain; medications to make you sleep; medications with calming effects; nortriptyline (Pamelor); phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), trimipramine (Surmontil); and vitamins or herbal products.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart, kidney, or liver diseas; depression; low blood pressure; low blood supply to the brain and heart; Buerger's or Winiwarter-Buerger disease; or Raynaud's disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
  • plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Brimonidine ophthalmic may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
  • tell your doctor if you wear soft contact lenses. Wait at least 15 minutes after using the medicine to put in your soft contact lenses.
  • your vision may be blurred after inserting the drops; use caution when driving or operating machinery.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from brimonidine ophthalmic are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • dry mouth
  • stinging or burning of the eye
  • headache
  • blurred vision
  • feeling that something is in the eye
  • drowsiness
  • dry eye
  • watery eye
  • dizziness
  • unusual taste after inserting the drops
  • insomnia
  • dry nose

If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop using brimonidine ophthalmic and call your doctor immediately:

  • itching eyes or skin
  • redness or swelling of eyes, lips, tongue, or skin
  • blood in eyes
  • unusual vision
  • unusual muscle pain
  • depression
  • irregular heartbeats
  • eye pain
  • skin rash, hives, or skin changes
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor will order certain eye tests to check your response to brimonidine ophthalmic.

Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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