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Brimonidine is a prescription medication used to lower eye pressure. Specifically, these eye drops are approved for treating high eye pressure in people with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. This medicine works by decreasing fluid production in the eye and increasing the rate of drainage from the eye. Potential side effects include eye redness, dry mouth, and headaches.

What Is Brimonidine?

Brimonidine tartrate (Alphagan®) 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 brimonidine -- original Alphagan and the newer Alphagan P. The two formulations are different in terms of their strengths and the preservatives they contain.
(Click What Is Brimonidine Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

As with any medicine, brimonidine can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the drug will experience side effects. Most people tolerate it quite well.
If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
In clinical studies, the most common side effects of this medication included:
  • Dry mouth
  • Eye redness
  • Burning and stinging
  • Headaches.
(Click Brimonidine Side Effects or Alphagan P Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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