brimonidine ophthalmic (generic name)

Alphagan (brand name)

It is used to to treat open-angle glaucoma and high pressure in the eye.
(bri MOE ni deen)
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What is this medicine?

BRIMONIDINE (bri MOE ni deen) is used to to treat open-angle glaucoma and high pressure in the eye.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • Buerger's disease
  • closed-angle glaucoma
  • depression
  • eye infection or damage
  • heart disease
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • Raynaud's phenomenon
  • wear contact lenses
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to brimonidine, benzalkonium chloride, Purite preservative, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is only for use in the eye. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash hands before and after use. Tilt the head back slightly and pull down the lower lid with the index finger to form a pouch. Try not to touch the tip of the dropper to your eye or any other surface. Squeeze one drop into the pouch. Close the eye gently. Do not blink or rub your eyes. Apply pressure to the inside corner of your eye for a few minutes after placing the medicine to help it stay in your eye longer. Use your doses at regular intervals. Do not use your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • alcohol
  • certain medicines for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat
  • medicines that cause drowsiness or tiredness
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline, clomipramine, and desipramine

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Report any serious side effects right away. Stop using this medicine if your eyes get swollen, painful, or have a discharge, and see your doctor or health care professional as soon as you can.

If you wear contact lenses, take them out before using this medicine. Wait 15 minutes before putting them back into your eyes.

If you are using another eye medicine, wait at least 10 minutes in between using each medicine.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

Wear dark glasses if this medicine makes your eyes more sensitive to light.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • bleeding in your eye
  • inflamed or infected eyes or eyelids

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • bitter taste in the mouth
  • blurred vision
  • burning, stinging, or discomfort immediately after using the solution
  • dry mouth
  • dry or itchy eyes
  • headache
  • sensitivity of the eyes to light
  • tiredness

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 25 degrees C (59 and 77 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: August 28, 2013
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