Brimonidine Tartrate: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, And Precautions
What Is Brimonidine Tartrate?
Brimonidine tartrate is an ophthalmic solution that reduces the pressure in the eye when used. Utilized to treat glaucoma and ocular hypertension, brimonidine drains the fluid causing excess pressure in the eye. Also, reducing fluid pressure prevents damage to the nerves, loss of vision, and blindness. It is a fast working drug as its effects take place within two hours of administration.
Coming under the category of Alpha agonists, brimonidine tartrate works by increasing the flow of fluids from the eye and reducing its production. For the best results, brimonidine tartrate can be used alone as well as in combination.
Brimonidine tartrate, mostly used as an ophthalmic solution of 0.2%, is a mode of treatment for red eyes, wide-angle glaucoma, and intraocular hypertension (increased pressure in the eye).
- Before using the drug, start with cleaned hands. Do not let the dropper come in contact with the eye or any other surfaces.
- Remove the contact lenses before administration. After the application of the solution, wait for at least 15 minutes before putting them back in.
- Holding the head tilted, look upwards, and carefully instill a drop of the recommended dose without letting the dropper touch the eye.
- Close your eyes after the application and look downwards for a minute or two.
- Position a finger near the eye, next to the nose, and massage gently.
- Avoid blinking or rubbing of the eye.
- Repeat the same for the other eye if needed.
- Wash your hands to remove any traces of medication.
Brimonidine tartrate should be stored in a cool, dry place without exposure to heat and moisture. Ensure that the drug stays out of the sight and reach of children and pets.
Many of the reactions to brimonidine subside on their own after some time. If the side effects persist, consult a health expert.
- dryness in the mouth
- watery or runny eyes
- dry eyes
- irritation and burning sensation in the eye after application of the medicine
- weakness in the muscles
- temporarily blurred vision
- sensitivity to light
- the white part of the eye appears discolored
- experience of change in taste
Signs of an eye infection like pain, irritated eyes, redness, and swollen eyelids should be attended to immediately. Additionally, if other severe reactions like the following are noted, stop using the medication until further clarification:
- slowed heartbeats
- sore throat
- nasal congestion
- blind spots
- decreased vision
- difficulty in breathing
- symptoms that are common for cases of flu
- difficulty in falling and remaining asleep
Inform your health expert if you are on other drugs or plan to take other drugs during the prescription period of brimonidine tartrate. The following drugs when consuming with Brimonidine Tartrate can lead to fatal drug interactions:
- drugs for heart conditions
- calcium channel blockers
- medication for blood pressure
- muscle relaxants
- drugs that affect metabolisms like methylphenidate and reserpine
- medication which works on the same receptor as brimonidine, for example, isoprenaline and prazosin
- MAO inhibitors
Even if you take other drugs for an eye condition or conditions unrelated to the eyes, inform the health expert. These medications could influence the functionality of brimonidine tartrate. Do not skip out on informing the doctor about the vitamins, supplements, herbal medications, or over-the-counter drugs that you use.
According to the medication and severity of the interactions, the healthcare provider might recommend a change in dosages, terminating the prescription, or suggest continuing everything simultaneously.
Different Effects On Different Groups
- Pregnant and nursing women should consult with their doctors before making use of brimonidine tartrate solution. Pregnant women should use it only if the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the fetus. Moreover, it has not been found if the ophthalmic solution passes into breastmilk, so nursing women are advised to avoid it as a precaution.
- Children below the age of 2 should be strictly kept away from using the drug. Even for teens and young adults, the medication should be prescribed after careful consideration. Bradycardia, lethargy, respiratory troubles, and hypothermia have been observed in infants who were administered brimonidine.
- Cardiovascular patients should exercise caution while using brimonidine tartrate. The drug has minor effects on blood pressure which might give rise to complications for patients with severe heart conditions.
- The geriatric population does not show any drastic reactions to the drug. Hence it is assumed to be safe for the demographic.
- The reaction in patients with renal and hepatic conditions has not been observed to date.
Brimonidine tartrate is harmful if ingested orally. The indications are seen in adults after the intake of the drug are respiratory depression and loss of consciousness. Perform the first aid for poisoning or call poison control immediately. In infants, hypotension, hypertension, apnea, pallor, and hypothermia are seen after overdosing. In some cases, the child goes into a comatose state.
- Consult with an expert before using combinations of ophthalmic solutions.
- Take care to keep the dropper and dropper tip of the ophthalmic solution sanitized. Do not let it touch any surface.
- Check for allergies to the drug or its components before using it.
- Try to space the daily doses at least 8 hours apart. Do not administer more than one dose at the same time in cases of missed doses.
- Inform your health expert about your drinking and smoking patterns before starting on brimonidine.
- Before instilling the ophthalmic solution, individuals using contact lenses should remove them and wait for 15 minutes before putting them back.
- Individuals with clinical depression or a history of depression should ensure that using the drug does not interfere with their condition. Consult a doctor to see if any special monitoring is required.
- Brimonidine tartrate induces fatigue. Hence the user should not operate heavy machinery after using the drug in any circumstance.
- Brimonidine has the side effect of causing lightheadedness while rising from a lying or sitting position. This is called orthostatic hypotension and the user should be careful while changing postures to avoid accidents.
- People with a condition called Raynaud’s disease should discuss it with their health expert before using brimonidine. The effectiveness of brimonidine will be affected by the medication used to treat the aforementioned disorder.
- Brimonidine should be prescribed to patients of thromboangiitis obliterans only after due consideration. The medication for both conditions may cancel each others’ potency.
- Individuals with kidney, liver, and heart conditions should contact the necessary experts before starting on brimonidine.
Brimonidine tartrate is a drug highly efficient in treating glaucoma and intraocular hypertension. Contact your doctor in case of side effects. For best results, use the medication as described by the experts.
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November 28, 2020 Sam Bell