Brimonidine: what is it for and how to use it?

The active substance in brimonidine It is used to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP). It is therefore indicated in patients with high eye strain and in the treatment of open-angle glaucoma.

Glaucoma is the main risk factor for ocular hypertension, and a tension inside the eye is reached so high that it can damage the optic nerve and cause irreversible and severe vision loss.

How does brimonidine work?

Brimonidine belongs to a class of medicines called alpha adrenergic agonists, and acts by decreasing the amount of fluid present inside the eyes.

A substance that is called adrenergic agonist is called exerts effects similar or identical to those of adrenaline. In addition, they are also known as sympathomimetics, that is, they act mimicking the sympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic nervous system It is one of the branches of the autonomic nervous system. He is responsible for performing involuntary functions such as:

  • Pupil dilation
  • The decrease in saliva production.
  • The increase in heart rate.
  • The inhibition of the activity of the digestive organs.

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How should I use brimonidine?

Brimonidine is available in eye drops solution. Its administration is done ophthalmic.

Brimonidine It comes in solution in the form of eye drops and it is administered ophthalmic. In adults and elderly patients, the recommended dose is one drop in each affected eye twice a day, with an approximate interval of 12 hours between doses.

Instructions and recommendations for use:

Attention: we should not use the medicine if the cap seal is broken before starting to use it. It is important that you wash your hands very well before opening the bottle.

  • To start, lean your head back and look at the ceiling.
  • Gently pull the lower eyelid down.
  • Next, turn the bottle upside down and squeeze until a drop of eye drops enters each affected eye.
  • Close your eye
  • For optimal use and avoid possible systemic absorption, it is advisable to press the tear sac for one minute, just after the application of each drop. In addition, if more than one ophthalmic medication is used, instillations should be performed with a 5 to 15 minute interval between drug and drug.
  • Once the medicine is opened, it must be used within 28 days.

What are its adverse effects?

The most commonly reported adverse reactions are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Ocular hyperemia
  • Burning and itchy eyes.
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness.

These are generally transient adverse effects that do not reach a severity so that it is required to suspend the treatment with brimonidine.

Among the rare side effects are:

  • Corneal staining
  • Photophobia or sensitivity to light.
  • Eyelid edema
  • Asthenia
  • Rarely can palpitations or arrhythmia occur.

Headaches and sensitivity to light are some of the possible side effects from the use of this medicine.

If the following symptoms appear, contact your doctor immediately:

  • Rash
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fading
  • Dizziness
  • Sickness

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What are the contraindications?

Brimonidine treatment is contraindicated in cases of:

  • Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients.
  • Neonates and children under 2 years.
  • Patients under treatment with monoamine oxidase inhibitor antidepressant drugs (MAOI)
  • Patients treated with antidepressants that affect noradrenergic transmission (for example, tricyclic antidepressants)

Can I use brimonidine if I am pregnant?

There are studies in animals that support that Brimonidine does not cause teratogenic effects. However, studies that were conducted in rabbits, where brimonidine levels were detected higher than those achieved during treatment in humans, showed reduction in postnatal growth.

Although to date the safety of the use of this medicine during pregnancy in humans has not been clearly established, The use of brimonidine is not recommended during pregnancy.

It will only be considered if the possible benefit to the mother justifies the risk to the fetus. Its use is not recommended during the period of breastfeeding.