Precautions and Warnings With Brimonidine
Because brimonidine can interact with certain medications, tell your healthcare provider about any medicines you are using before using the eye drops. Warnings and precautions for brimonidine should also be discussed with your healthcare provider, as it is important to be aware of potential side effects and other possible problems. For example, brimonidine can make heart disease or low blood pressure worse.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using brimonidine tartrate (Alphagan®) if you have:
- Raynaud's disease
- Had a stroke
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Heart disease
- Thromboangiitis obliterans
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Brimonidine Warnings and PrecautionsSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using the eye drops include the following:
- Brimonidine should be used with caution in people with depression, heart disease, Raynaud's disease, a history of a stroke, low blood pressure, or thromboangiitis obliterans, as there is a small chance that brimonidine could worsen such conditions. However, many people with these medical conditions can safely use brimonidine with no problems whatsoever.
- Brimonidine has not been adequately studied in people with liver or kidney problems.
- For some people, brimonidine will work very well initially but will gradually become less effective. It is important that you are regularly monitored to make sure that this eye medication is still working for you.
- Brimonidine can potentially interact with some other medications (see Drug Interactions With Brimonidine).
- Brimonidine can sometimes cause drowsiness. Make sure to see how the medication affects you before driving or operating heavy machinery.
- If you use other eye drops, make sure to separate your dose of brimonidine and that of the other drops by at least five minutes.
- Brimonidine is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Alphagan and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if brimonidine passes through breast milk in humans. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using the drug (see Alphagan and Breastfeeding).