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Glaucoma is an eye disorder that can lead to blindness or low vision if left untreated. Two main issues are of concern when dealing with glaucoma: intraocular pressure (IOP) and fluid drainage. The optic nerve becomes damaged when the pressure in the eye rises above normal levels and can also malfunction when the eye’s fluids do not drain normally. Eye drops are used to lower IOP and to promote effective fluid drainage in the affected eye. There are many different brands of ophthalmic solutions that are effective treatment methods for glaucoma.
Alphagan P, manufactured by Allergan, is the brand name of a drug called brimonidine. Alphagan is classified as an alpha agonist and works to both decrease the amount of fluid produced by the eye and to increase drainage. The ophthalmic solution is available in two strengths, 0.1 percent and 0.15 percent.
Azopt, made by Alcon Laboratories, is a 1 percent brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic solution and is a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. This type of drug decreases the amount of fluid produced by the eye. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors may also be taken in pill form. Another eye drop form of a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor is a medication called dorzolamide HCI (brand name is Trusopt).
Betoptic S is the brand name of betaxolol hydrochloride, an eye drop treatment for glaucoma, available in either 0.25 percent or 0.5 percent solutions. Betoptic S is a beta blocker and prompts the eye to produce less fluid. The medication may cause a drop in blood pressure as it enters the bloodstream and may be dangerous for people who have heart problems.
Betagan is another beta blocker eye drop used to decrease intraocular fluid. The generic name for Betagan is levobunolol HCI and is available in 0.25 percent and 0.5 percent strengths. Patients who take Betagan may experience shortness of breath or fatigue as side effects, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation.
Betimol is just one of the many brand names of a drug called timolol, which is commonly prescribed for glaucoma sufferers and may also be marketed under the names Istalol, Timoptic XE and Blocadren, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). Betimol, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, is a beta blocker ophthalmic solution. Timolol drugs are generally prescribed as a 0.25 or 0.5 percent solution.
Combigan, as its name may suggest, is a combination of two medications in one eye drop. Combigan is made by Allergan Inc. and is a mixture of brimonidine tartrate, an alpha agonist and timolol maleate, a beta blocker. The eye drop both decreases the amount of fluid in the eye and increases drainage potential, which can lead to a drop of intraocular pressure.
Cosopt, made by Merck and Company Inc., is another combination ophthalmic solution that decreases ocular fluid production. Cosopt’s active ingredients include dorzolamide HCI and timolol maleate. Cosopt may burn or sting the eyes upon application and may also cause an altered sense of taste.
Iopidine is an alpha agonist made by Alcon Labs and is the brand name of a drug called apraclonidine HCI. The eye drop is prescribed in two strengths, 0.5 percent and 1 percent. Common side effects of Iopidine may include burning or stinging of the eyes and a dry mouth and nose.
Isopto is the brand name for two medications, both made by Alcon Labs. Isopto Carpine is the drug pilocarpine. Isopto Carbachol has the active ingredient carbachol in the solution. Both medications are cholinergic drugs and promote drainage of ocular fluids. The fluids drain by decreasing the size of the pupil, which could lead to the side effect of dim vision. Pilocarpine drugs are also marketing under the brand names names Pilopine and Pilocarpine HCI.
Bausch and Lomb makes a beta blocker eye drop called OptiPranolol, which the generic name of metipranolol. OptiPranolol is a 0.3 percent ophthalmic solution and lowers intraocular pressure. Side effects may include temporary incidents of blurred vision, tearing and heightened sensitivity to light.
A group of drugs called prostaglandin analogs are used to treat glaucoma by increasing fluid drainage. Three different medications of this type are marketed as glaucoma treatment: Travatan (generic name travoprost), Lumigan (generic name bimatoprost) and Xalatan (generic name latanaprost). This class of ophthalmic solution may cause the common side effects of burning or stinging. If used over a long period of time, users of these drugs may notice that their color has darkened as well.
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