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.
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.
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.
Brand Names: Alphagan P
Dosage: 1 drop 2X-3 per day
Brimonidine and Alphagan may cause eye redness. Rarely patients can become allergic to these drops.
Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors
Brand Names: Azopt, Trusopt
Dosage: 1 drop 2X-3X per day
Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors such as dorzolamide should not be given to patients with a sulfa allergy.