What is Brimonidine Tartrate?

Brimonidine Tartrate is a type of medicinal drug which people suffering from increased pressure inside the eyes (intraocular hypertension) or open-angle glaucoma use for treatment. It comes in various brands and forms such as the ophthalmic solution and eye drops. Besides, it belongs to a group of medications referred to as -2-adrenergic receptor agonists which are used widely for the treatment of hypertension and pain-disorders.

The eye is one of the most delicate organs in the human body. Most of the times, it produces too much fluid which is then drained away. When the eye fails to drain this fluid in the right way, the pressure increases a great deal inside it. This is where there is a need to use Brimonidine Tartrate. The medication helps by lowering the production of excess fluid inside the eyes. Additionally, it increases the rate at which the eyes drain out the fluid.

There are two common pharmaceutical forms of this type of medication which are both used to reduce increased eye pressure as a result of improper drainage of fluid out of the sight organs. These forms include the eye drops and ophthalmic solution. They can either be used together with other forms or prescription drugs or alone. Your doctor will advise you clearly about the usage.

Brimonidine Tartrate ophthalmic solution and Brimonidine Tartrate eye drops come in two different varieties which are recognized in terms of their brand names. These include Alphagan and Alphagan-P respectively. The only difference is that the former has Benzalkonium chloride while the latter has Purite (and hence the suffix -P). Your physician may prescribe you one type instead of the other depending on the seriousness of your condition.

The color of these substances in solution form is greenish-yellow and very clear. The ophthalmic solution has a PH ranging from 6.6 to 7.4 or 7.4 to 8.0 and an osmolality ranging from 250 to 350 osmoles per kilogram. Each milliliter of this form comprises Brimonidine Tartrate 1.5 mg per milliliter (0.15%) or 1.0 mg per milliliter (0.1%) as an active ingredient. Other constituents are considered inactive such as boric acid, sodium borate and chloride, and calcium, potassium, and magnesium chloride. All the forms are FDA-approved meaning that they are effective and safe to use.

As for dosage to adults, the usual dose is supposed to be only one drop of 0.2% of Brimonidine solution. This should be put into the area of the eye which is suffering from ocular hypertension or glaucoma. This should be done two times a day, that is, in the morning and evening or towards bedtime. But ensure that the duration between the times of use is about twelve hours.

For a 0.15% solution, adults need to apply only one drop but three times a day. You need to make sure that the difference between times of usage is about eight hours for good results. However, the prescription above can be different. This is because your physician may advise a different kind of dosage depending on your other medications, health conditions, or body weight. See to it that you follow the dosage based on your doctor's recommendations.

There are some side effects of using both forms of Brimonidine Tartrate. The strengths of using the medication are known to be found only in generic form. Following are the usual side-effects.

  • Insomnia or sleep difficulties
  • Puffy or swollen eyes after the use of medication
  • High light sensibility
  • Muscle pain
  • Unpleasant or unusual taste in the mouth
  • Redness of the eyelid or eye -
  • Moving feeling in the eye
  • Nausea
  • Feeling of itchiness/burning/stinging in the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue and drowsiness

Other side effects that demand immediate medical attention include the following:

  • Swelling or severe pain in the eye
  • Pounding or very fast heartbeats (including changes in the heart rhythm)
  • Persistent light sensitivity
  • Changes in eye vision
  • Severe headaches

Though, Brimonidine Tartrate is very safe and highly recognized in countries such as the US and UK. In the year 2016, according to statistics, the number of consumers around the US were found to be over three million. However, when using this medication, patients need to follow certain rules to avoid any contamination such as ensuring that their hands are clean and that the container used to cap the medicine is kept in a very clean location. Also, they should take great caution not to touch the inside of their eyes during use. Moreover, the tip should not also be in contact with the area about the eye.  After use, it should be kept in a good place at room temperature and away from children's reach.

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