Alphagan is a prescription medication approved for reducing eye pressure in people with high eye pressure (ocular hypertension) or open-angle glaucoma. It comes in the form of an eye drop and is applied to the affected eye three times daily. Although most people do not have any problems with this medication, side effects are possible and may include eye redness, burning, and stinging.
What Is Alphagan?
Alphagan® (brimonidine tartrate) is a prescription eye drop. It is approved to treat high eye pressure in people with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. There are two different formulations of Alphagan -- original Alphagan and the newer Alphagan P. The two formulations are different in terms of their strengths and the preservatives they contain.
Brand-name original Alphagan was made by Allergan, Inc., but it is no longer available (generic versions are still available). Brand-name Alphagan P is manufactured by Allergan, Inc. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers.
How Does It Work?
Alphagan belongs to a group of drugs called alpha adrenergic agonists (often known as just "alpha agonists"). This eye medication binds to and activates alpha receptors in the eye, causing two important effects. It decreases the amount of fluid (known as aqueous humor) produced by the eye and increases the rate of drainage. These two effects result in lowered eye pressure.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed June 21, 2010.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed June 21, 2010.
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