Alphagan, also known as brimonidine, is a medication used to treat high fluid pressure in the eye. This medication is not prescribed for children below the age of two due to the increased risk of side effects such as shortness of breath.
How it works
The medication reduces fluid pressure in the eye through two ways. First, it enables the eye to drain excess fluid more efficiently. Secondly, it reduces the amount of fluid produced in the eye. Both these ways enable the drug to reduce the overall pressure caused in the eyes.
Alphagan is used to reduce the amount of fluid within the eye and thereby decreases the level of pressure in the eyes. This decreased pressure reduces the chances of developing various eye problems including mild ones such as blurred vision and also more severe complications such as blindness, nerve damage and vision loss.
Similar to most types of eye medications, Alphagan is also used in the form of eye drops. Before applying the drops, make sure to wash your hands. Do not let the tipper touch any surface to avoid contamination. Those who wear contact lenses should remove them before application and wait for at least 15 minutes before putting on the lenses again. Tilt your head back and hold the dropper directly above your eye. Insert one drop thrice a day – unless your healthcare provider advises you to do otherwise. Once applied, look down and keep your eyes closed for 2-3 minutes. Do not scratch or rub your eyes. If you do so, it can drain out the medication and ruin its effectiveness.
Listed below are some common side effects that you may or may not experience.
Increased watering of eyes
Severe swelling, burning or discomfort around the eye
Redness or irritation in the eye
If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately to reverse the effects.
In order to prevent the above effects, make sure to adhere to the following guidelines.
Never rinse the dropper. You need to replace the cap after every use to avoid contamination
If you are applying any other eye ointments, wait for at least five minutes before applying them
Continue this medication even if you are no longer experiencing any symptoms
Do not stop the drops abruptly without informing your healthcare provider
Do not drive after using this medication since it impairs your thinking
Inform your surgeon about the use of this medication regardless of the type of surgery you are getting
If you have blood circulation problems or heart issues, remember to inform your healthcare provider well ahead since Alphagan can react to the medications of your preexisting conditions. Store the bottle very safely. Do not freeze or keep it exposed to moisture and heat. Keep the cap tightly closed when the medication is not used.
It is not known to what extent the medication can affect your baby or be passed on through breast feeding. It is advisable to stop the medication temporarily during this period.