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All about: Brimonidine tartrate

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Generic name: Brimonidine tartrate
Brand names: Alphagan P

Why is Brimonidine tartrate prescribed?

Alphagan P lowers high pressure in the eye, a problem typically caused by the condition known as open-angle glaucoma. Alphagan P works in two ways: it reduces production of the liquid that fills the eyeball, and it promotes drainage of this liquid. This drug is free of the preservative benzalkonium chloride.

Most important fact about Brimonidine tartrate

Alphagan P may have a slight effect on blood pressure. If you have severe heart disease, make sure the doctor is aware of it. Caution is warranted.

How should you take Brimonidine tartrate?

Alphagan P is administered with an eyedropper. If you are using other eyedrops or ointments, allow at least 5 minutes between doses of each product.

--If you miss a dose...

Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe to continue using Alphagan P.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Abnormal vision, allergic reaction, blurred vision, burning and stinging, dizziness, drowsiness, dry eyes, dry mouth, eye pain or irritation, fatigue, feeling of foreign body in the eye, headache, inflamed or swollen eyelids, itchy eyes, loss of tissue or staining of the cornea, muscle pain, red or swollen eyes, sensitivity to light, stomach problems, tearing, upper respiratory symptoms, watery eyes, weakness

Why should Brimonidine tartrate not be prescribed?

You'll need to avoid Alphagan P if it gives you an allergic reaction, or if you're taking a medication classified as an MAO inhibitor, such as the antidepressants Nardil and Parnate.

Special warnings about Brimonidine tartrate

Use Alphagan P with caution if you have circulation problems, low blood pressure, or depression. Caution is also warranted if you have liver or kidney problems, since the effects of Alphagan P under these conditions have not been studied.

The effect of Alphagan P may diminish over time. The doctor should check your eye pressure periodically.

Alphagan P makes some people drowsy. Do not engage in hazardous activities such as driving until you know how Brimonidine tartrate affects you.

Alphagan P has not been studied in children under 2 years of age.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Brimonidine tartrate

If Alphagan P is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Alphagan P with the following:

Barbiturates such as phenobarbital and Seconal
Other sleep medications such as Ambien and Sonata
Narcotic painkillers such as Darvon, Percodan, and Vicodin
Drugs classified as beta blockers, such as the high blood pressure medications Inderal, Sectral, and Tenormin
Other high blood pressure drugs
Heart drugs such as Isordil, Lanoxin, and Nitro-Dur
Tricyclic antidepressant drugs such as Sinequan, Surmontil, and Vivactil

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Although there is no evidence that Alphagan P can cause harm, the effects of the drug during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately.

It is not known whether Alphagan P appears in breast milk. If you are nursing, its use is not recommended.

Recommended dosage

The usual dose is 1 drop in the affected eye(s) 3 times daily, approximately 8 hours apart.


No information is available on Alphagan P overdose. However, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

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