Combigan is an eye drop used twice a day to treat high eye pressure. It contains two different medicines that work together to decrease the amount of fluid in the eye; this results in lowered eye pressure. The most common side effects seen with this product include eye allergies, redness, and burning.
Brand-name Combigan is manufactured by Allergan, Inc.
How Does Combigan Work?
As mentioned, Combigan contains two different active ingredients: brimonidine tartrate and timolol maleate.
Brimonidine belongs to a group of drugs called alpha adrenergic agonists (often known as just "alpha agonists"). Brimonidine binds to and activates alpha receptors in the eye, causing two important effects. It decreases the amount of fluid (known as aqueous humor) the eye produces and increases the rate of drainage. These two effects result in lowered eye pressure.
Timolol belongs to a group of drugs called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, more often known as beta blockers. As the name implies, these medications block beta receptors in the body. Beta receptors are located in a number of places within the body, including the eyes. Beta blockers also lower the pressure in the eye by decreasing the amount of fluid the eye produces.
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 22, 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 22, 2010.
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