Brimonidine (Into the eye)
Treats increased pressure in the eye caused by open-angle glaucoma or a condition called hypertension of the eye (ocular hypertension).
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You or your child should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to brimonidine. This medicine should not be used in children younger than 2 years of age.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
- Shake the eye drops well just before each use.
- Lie down or tilt your head back. With your index finger, pull down the lower lid of your eye to form a pocket.
- To use the eye drops: Hold the dropper close to your eye with the other hand. Drop the correct number of drops into the pocket made between your lower lid and eyeball. Gently close your eyes. Place your index finger over the inner corner of your eye for 1 minute. Do not rinse or wipe the dropper or allow it to touch anything, including your eye. Put the cap on the bottle right away. Keep the bottle upright when you are not using it.
- If you think you did not get the drop of medicine into your eye properly, repeat the directions with a second drop.
- If your doctor ordered two different eye drops to be used together, wait at least 5 minutes after you put the first medicine in your eye to use the second medicine. This will prevent the second medicine from "washing out" the first one.
- If germs get in the bottle, your eye could become infected. Serious eye infections can cause blindness.
- The eye drops will normally be a clear liquid with a greenish-yellow color. If the color changes or the liquid becomes cloudy, do not use the medicine. Get a new bottle from the pharmacy.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine container and any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using digoxin (Lanoxin®) or medicine for blood pressure (such as hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ], lisinopril, quinapril, Accupril®, Cozaar®, Diovan®, Lotrel®, Norvasc®, or Zestril®), Tell your doctor if you are using an MAO inhibitor for depression (such as isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline, tranylcypromine, Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®).
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
- Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you or your child have heart disease, orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure when standing up), Raynaud phenomenon (blood vessel disorder), thromboangiitis obliterans (blood vessel disorder), depression, or have had a heart attack or stroke.
- If itching, redness, swelling, or other signs of eye or eyelid irritation occur, stop using this medicine and check with your doctor. These symptoms may mean that you or your child are allergic to this medicine.
- This medicine may make you or your child lightheaded, dizzy, or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
- If you hurt your eye, develop an eye infection, or need to have eye surgery, talk with your doctor right away. You may need to change your medicine or stop using it.
- You or your child will need to have your eyes checked by an eye doctor on a regular basis while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blurred vision or other changes in vision.
- Burning, stinging, dry, or itching eyes.
- Eye discharge or excessive tearing.
- Fast, slow, or pounding heartbeat.
- Redness in the white part of the eyes or inside of the eyelids.
- Red, painful, or swollen eyelids.
- Severe eye irritation or pain.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Dry mouth.
- Feeling tired or drowsy.
- Sensitivity of the eyes to light.
- Upset stomach.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013