Alphagan (Brimonidine) Product Information
Alphagan is used to treat open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. This medication works by lowering the fluid pressure in your eye by reducing the amount of fluid it produces, while simultaneously increasing the fluid flow out of the eye. This helps reduce the risk of vision loss, nerve damage or blindness.
The active ingredient in Alphagan is Brimonidine Tartrate, and the generic form of the medication is also called Brimonidine.
What is Alphagan used for?
Alphagan is a prescription eye drop medicine that is usually prescribed to people who suffer from high pressure in the eye. These patients often have a diagnosis of open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.
If people who suffer from open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension are left untreated, they could ultimately develop blindness due to the excess pressure which damages the nerves in their eye, which in turn, slowly damages their vision.
There are usually two kinds of Alphagan. One is called Alphagan which is the original formulation, and the other one is a new formulation called Alphagan P. Both have different strengths and preservatives; in this article we are discussing the original Alphagan formulation.
The use of Alphagan reduces the body’s production of aqueous humor while the drainage of aqueous humor is increased, resulting in decreased pressure in the eye. As it is an alpha adrenergic agonist, Alphagan attaches to and stimulates the alpha receptors in the eye, reducing the pressure in the eye.
As it is an eye drop medication, you will need to place a drop in the affected eye thrice a day. If using another eye drop medication, use 5 minutes after using Alphagan.
If you wear contact lenses, they should be removed before use, for if they come into contact with this medicine, they are likely to be damaged by the product’s preservative. Contacts can be inserted again after fifteen minutes.
Do not use more than one drop at each dosing time as this is an overdose. Only three doses per day are allowed and should be given in 8-hour intervals.
Alphagan, just like other eye drop products for reducing pressure in the eye, has some side effects. Some of these are tolerable for most people and there is no need to seek medical help. Others are severe and hard to bear. Although rare, report severe side effects to your eye doctor right away.
Common and tolerable side effects include:
- Eye redness
- Dry mouth
- Burning, stinging
Prior to taking Alphagan, make sure you tell your doctor about the following health concerns:
- Liver disease like hepatitis, liver failure or liver cirrhosis
- Heart disease
- Thromboangiitis obliterans
- Kidney disease like renal failure
- Any allergies you might have.
- Raynaud’s disease