Brimonidine

Description

Brimonidine is available as eye drops and skin gel. The eye drops are used to lower high pressure in the eyes and also to relieve redness in the eyes caused by minor eye irritations. The topical gel is used to reduce the symptoms of rosacea, a skin condition characterized by symptoms such as facial redness, dilated or swollen blood vessels on the skin, pimples, oily skin, and skin rash. The eye drops may cause some side effects such as blurred vision, dry eyes and burning sensation in the eyes. You should wash your hands properly before administering brimonidine eye drops. Tilt your head back slightly and pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket. Hold the dropper close to the eye with the tip facing downwards. Squeeze the dropper so that a drop of medicine falls in the pocket. Close your eyes for 2 to 3 minutes and repeat the same for the next dose. The topical skin gel may cause some side effects such as dry skin, itching and burning sensation on the skin. Apply a thin layer of the brimonidine gel to the affected areas as instructed by the doctor. Wash and dry the affected area before application. Apply in small quantities and rub gently to form a thin layer on the affected area.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Brimonidine

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye irritation
  • Dry eyes
  • Burning or tingling sensation of skin
  • Burning or itching of eyes
  • Acne
  • Dry skin

Uses of Brimonidine

What is it prescribed for?

  • Intraocular hypertension
  • Open angle Glaucoma
  • Rosacea
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The effect of brimonidine eye drops can be observed within 2 hours of administration of the dose. The effect of brimonidine gel can be observed within 3 hours of application.
  • Duration of effect
    The effect of brimonidine lasts for an average duration of 12 hours.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit-forming tendency has been reported for Brimonidine.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    Brimonidine is generally not recommended for use in pregnant women. However, it is acceptable to use in the first trimester upon your doctor's recommendation. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with your doctor.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    It is not known whether Brimonidine passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Inform your doctor that you are breast-feeding. It is acceptable to use upon your doctor's recommendation.

Allergy

Avoid using brimonidine tartrate if you are allergic to it. Serious allergic reactions to this medicine are rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of allergic reactions such as severe itching, redness, skin rash, eye irritation, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

Brimonidine is generally not recommended for use in pregnant women. However, it is acceptable to use in the first trimester upon your doctor's recommendation. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with your doctor.

Breast-feeding

It is not known whether Brimonidine passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Inform your doctor that you are breast-feeding. It is acceptable to use upon your doctor's recommendation.
General warnings

Contact lens

Brimonidine eye drop is not recommended for use if you are wearing soft contact lenses in your eyes. The lens should be removed prior to administration and can be reinserted 15 minutes after the installation of this medicine.

Driving or operating the machines

Brimonidine eye drop may cause blurred vision and rarely dizziness or drowsiness in some patients. Do not perform any activities such as driving a vehicle or operating machinery if you experience any of these symptoms.

Bacterial keratitis

If Brimonidine eye drop is contaminated by bacteria, it can lead to an infection of the cornea (bacterial keratitis). Patients are advised to take all hygienic precautions to ensure that the medicine is not contaminated.

Topical form of the medicine

Brimonidine skin gel is not recommended for use in the eyes.

Use in children

Brimonidine skin gel is not recommended for use in patients below 18 years of age since the safety and efficacy of use are not clinically established. Brimonidine eye drop is contraindicated for use in children below 2 years of age since the safety and efficacy of use are not clinically established. It is not recommended for use in patients below 18 years of age; however, your doctor may prescribe it in certain specific conditions where the benefits significantly outweigh the risks. In such cases, the patient should be monitored closely for any side effects.

Missed Dose

The missed dose of brimonidine should be administered/applied as soon as possible. It is advisable to skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not instil/apply a double dose to make up for the missed one.

Overdose

Seek emergency medical attention in case of an overdose with brimonidine.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Antihypertensives

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors

Central nervous system depressants

Disease interactions

Depression

Therapy with Brimonidine should be done cautiously in patients who are suffering from depression due to the risk of worsening of the condition. Such patients should be monitored for exacerbation of symptoms while using brimonidine.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Eye drops: Brimonidine eye drop is for external use only. Administer it as directed by the doctor. Seek emergency medical treatment in case of any side effects. Ensure that the course of treatment is completed. Do not stop the use of this medicine without consulting your doctor. If you are using any other eye drops, maintain a time gap of at least 5 to 10 minutes between the administration of the two eye drops. Topical use: Apply a thin layer of brimonidine gel (pea-sized amount) to the affected area of the skin once daily. Do not cover the application area with bandages or other coverings unless specifically instructed by the doctor.
Miscelleneous

Usage does not depend on food timings

To be taken as instructed by doctor

Does not cause sleepiness

How it works
Brimonidine eye drops reduce the high pressure inside the eyes by decreasing the amount of fluid (aqueous humour) in the eyes. Brimonidine gel tightens the blood vessels and reduces the symptoms of rosacea.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Alpha adrenergic agonists

Schedule

Schedule H

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https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=1ce6d79a-32c1-44dc-b50c-ada8848f39c3>

Drugs, H., 2021. Brimonidine Ophthalmic: MedlinePlus Drug Information. [online] Medlineplus.gov. Available at: < [Accessed 7 February 2021].

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a601232.html>

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https://www2.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/109>

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https://www2.medicines.org.uk/emc/PIL.29410.latest.pdf>

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https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/020613s031lbl.pdf>

Galdermausa.com. 2021. [online] Available at: < [Accessed 7 February 2021].

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Pbm.va.gov. 2021. [online] Available at: < [Accessed 7 February 2021].

https://www.pbm.va.gov/PBM/clinicalguidance/drugmonographs/Brimonidine_Gel_MIRVASO_Monograph.pdf>

Allergan-web-cdn-prod.azureedge.net. 2021. [online] Available at: < [Accessed 7 February 2021].

https://allergan-web-cdn-prod.azureedge.net/allergan/allergannewzealand/media/allergannewzealand/products/alphagan-p-nz-ds.pdf>

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Information on this page was last updated on 2 Apr 2021

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