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Brimonidine ophthalmic Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 20, 2023.

Applies to brimonidine ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution.

Serious side effects

Along with its needed effects, brimonidine ophthalmic may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking brimonidine ophthalmic:

More common

Less common

Incidence not known

Other side effects

Some side effects of brimonidine ophthalmic may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Less common

Incidence not known

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to brimonidine ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution, topical gel.


The most commonly reported side effects were oral dryness, ocular hyperemia, burning/stinging, headache, blurring, and foreign body sensation.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Ocular hyperemia (20%), burning/stinging (19%), foreign body sensation (12%), ocular pruritus, blurred vision (12%), allergic blepharitis, allergic blepharoconjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis, ocular allergic reaction, follicular conjunctivitis

Common (1% to 10%): Local irritation (eyelid hyperemia/edema, blepharitis, conjunctival edema/discharge, ocular pain /tearing), photophobia, corneal erosion/staining, ocular dryness, conjunctival blanching, abnormal vision, conjunctivitis, epiphora, superficial punctate keratitis, visual disturbance, worsening of visual acuity, cataract, vitreous detachment, vitreous disorder, vitreous floaters

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Conjunctival papilla, papillary hypertrophy, iritis, hordeolum

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Miosis

Frequency not reported: Lid crusting

Postmarketing reports: Iridocyclitis (anterior uveitis), eyelid pruritus, keratoconjunctivitis sicca[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Oral dryness

Common (1% to 10%): Gastrointestinal symptoms[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Palpitations/arrhythmias (including bradycardia and tachycardia)

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Hypertension, hypotension

Postmarketing reports: Pallor[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache, drowsiness

Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, abnormal taste

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Somnolence

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Syncope

Postmarketing reports: Coma, lethargy[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Upper respiratory symptoms, rhinitis, bronchitis, cough, flu syndrome

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Nasal dryness, pharyngitis

Rare (less than 0.1%): Dyspnea

Postmarketing reports: Respiratory depression[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Depression

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Insomnia

Frequency not reported: Anxiety[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Muscular pain[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Skin reactions including erythema, pruritus, rash, vasodilatation[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Systemic allergic reactions[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hypercholesterolemia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue[Ref]


1. (2001) "Product Information. Alphagan (brimonidine ophthalmic)." Allergan Inc

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics."

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information."

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.