Eyes Home > Brimonidine/Timolol

How Does Brimonidine/Timolol Work?

As the name implies, brimonidine/timolol 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.
 

When and How to Use Brimonidine/Timolol

General considerations to keep in mind during treatment with brimonidine/timolol include the following:
 
  • This medication comes in the form of an eye drop. It is used in the affected eye(s) twice daily.
     
  • Soft contact lenses can absorb the preservative (benzalkonium chloride) in these eye drops. In order to avoid this problem, you must remove the lenses before using brimonidine/timolol and wait at least 15 minutes before reinserting them.
     
  • If you use other eye drops in addition to brimonidine/timolol, make sure to wait at least five minutes between using brimonidine/timolol and the other eye medication.
     
  • In order to prevent contamination of the drops, do not touch the tip of the dropper to any surface, including the surface of the eye or the skin.
     
  • For brimonidine/timolol to work properly, it must be used as directed.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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