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Glaucoma Eye Drops Overview

Overview of Glaucoma Eye Drops

Glaucoma eye drops are often the first line treatment for patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG).  Every patient should know the side effects of their medications.  There are four main classes of glaucoma medications.  All 4 classes of glaucoma medications are equally effective, and all glaucoma drops may burn on application.

 


 

Prostanglandin Analogs

 

Travatan Z

Generic:  Latanoprost

Brand Names:  Travatan Z, Lumigan, Zioptan

Dosage:  1 drop at night

The most common side effect patients may experience is eye redness.  This can occur in 5-20% of patients.  Prostanglandin Analogs may darken the iris which is the color part of the eye.  This darkening is rarely noticed by patients.  This glaucoma medication may also cause eyelashes to grow thicker and longer.  These drops have a similar active ingredient to the eyelash growing medication Latisse.


 

Beta Blockers

Generic:  Timolol

Brand Name: Timoptic

Dosage: 1 drop 2X per day

Beta Blockers can lower the heart rate and cause constriction of a patient’s airway.  They should be used with caution in patients with heart issues, bradycardia (low heart rate), asthma, COPD, and emphysema.  Timolol is typically well tolerated in patients.


Alpha Agonists

Alphagan P glaucoma eye drops

Generic:  Brimonidine

Brand Names:  Alphagan P

Dosage:  1 drop 2X per day

Brimonidine and Alphagan may cause eye redness.  Rarely patients can become allergic to these drops.


 Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors

Azopt glaucoma eye drops

Generic:  Dorzolamide

Brand Names:  Azopt, Trusopt

Dosage:  1 drop 2X per day

Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors such as dorzolamide should not be given to patients with a sulfa allergy.