Brimonidine

Generic Name: brimonidine (bri-MOE-ni-DEEN)
Brand Name: Alphagan P

Brimonidine is used for:

Lowering eye pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye (ocular hypertension).

Brimonidine is an alpha-adrenergic agonist. It works by decreasing fluid production and pressure inside the eye.

Do NOT use brimonidine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in brimonidine
  • the patient is a newborn or a child younger than 2 years old
  • you are taking furazolidone or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using brimonidine:

Some medical conditions may interact with brimonidine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have heart, kidney, or liver problems
  • if you have a history of depression
  • if you have circulation problems (eg, Raynaud phenomenon); blood vessel problems (eg, in the brain, heart, or legs); or low blood pressure, especially upon standing
  • if you take digoxin or medicines for high blood pressure

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with brimonidine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital) or opiate pain medicines (eg, oxycodone) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by brimonidine
  • Furazolidone, linezolid, or MAOIs (eg, phenelzine) because the risk of side effects, including high fever, high blood pressure, and headache, may be increased by brimonidine
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may decrease brimonidine's effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if brimonidine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use brimonidine:

Use brimonidine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • To use brimonidine in the eye, first, wash your hands. Tilt your head back. Using your index finger, pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to form a pouch. Drop the medicine into the pouch and gently close your eyes. Immediately use your finger to apply pressure to the inside corner of the eye for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not blink. Remove excess medicine around your eye with a clean, dry tissue, being careful not to touch your eye. Wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them.
  • To prevent germs from contaminating your medicine, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface, including the eye. Keep the container tightly closed.
  • More than 1 eye medicine may be used to lower eye pressure. If you use other medicines in your eye, wait at least 5 minutes between using brimonidine and your other eye medicines.
  • If your medicine comes with a special cap, follow the directions on how to use this properly.
  • If brimonidine changes color or becomes cloudy, do not use it. Do not use brimonidine after the expiration date on the bottle.
  • Contact your health care provider at once if you feel you have used too much of brimonidine.
  • If you miss a dose of brimonidine, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use brimonidine.

Important safety information:

  • Brimonidine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or lightheadedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use brimonidine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Check with your doctor before you drink alcohol while you use brimonidine.
  • Do NOT use more than the recommended dose or use more often than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Contact your doctor if you have an eye injury or infection, or if you will be having eye surgery.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you use brimonidine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Lab tests, including eye exams, may be performed while you use brimonidine. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Brimonidine should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 2 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using brimonidine while you are pregnant. It is not known if brimonidine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using brimonidine.

Possible side effects of brimonidine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Blurred vision; cough; dizziness; drowsiness; dry eyes; dry mouth; increased tear production; mild burning or itching of the eye; runny or stuffy nose.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); depression; difficulty breathing; eye irritation, swelling, pain, or discharge; eyelid pain, redness, scaling, drooping, crusting, or swelling; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; sensitivity to light; severe or persistent feeling that something is in your eye; severe or persistent headache or dizziness; shortness of breath; vision changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of brimonidine:

Store brimonidine at room temperature, between 59 and 77 degrees F (15 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep brimonidine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about brimonidine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Brimonidine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take brimonidine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about brimonidine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to brimonidine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using brimonidine.

Issue Date: November 5, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.002
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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