Alphagan reduces elevated pressure in the eyes of patients who have open angle glaucoma or high blood pressure of the eye. Follow your pharmacist's instructions on how to properly administer eyedrops.
Alphagan is a prescription medication used to reduce pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension (higher than normal blood pressure inside the eye).
Alphagan belongs to a group of drugs called alpha adrenergic agonists. These work by decreasing the amount of fluid produced in the eyes, which reduces overall pressure within the eye.
This medication comes in eyedrop form and is typically taken three times daily, with administrations approximately 8 hours apart.
Common side effects of Alphagan include irritation of the eye such as redness, burning, and stinging.
Alphagan can cause blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Alphagan affects you.
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Uses of Alphagan
Alphagan is a prescription medication used to reduce elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension (higher than normal blood pressure inside the eye).
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Alphagan Drug Class
Alphagan is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Alphagan
Serious side effects have been reported with Alphagan. See the “Drug Precautions” section.
Common side effects of Alphagan include the following:
- itchy, irritated, red, stinging, or burning eyes
- dry eyes
- watery or runny eyes
- red or swollen eyelids
- sensitivity to light
- blurred vision
This is not a complete list of Alphagan side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- blood pressure lowering medications
- cardiac glycosides such as digoxin
- central nervous system depressants such as alcohol, barbiturates, opiates, sedatives, or anesthetics
- tricyclic antidepressants such as amytriptyline, nortriptyline, or imipramine
- monoamine oxidase Inhibitors such as phenelzine, selegiline, or tranylcypromine
This is not a complete list of Alphagan drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Serious side effects have been reported with Alphagan including the following:
- Worsening of diseases that involve weak blood flow. Alphagan may worsen diseases associated with weak blood flow. Alphagan should be used with caution in patients with cerebral or coronary insufficiency, Raynaud's phenomenon, or orthostatic hypotension.
- Worsening of heart disease. Although Alphagan had minimal effect on the blood pressure of most patients in clinical studies, caution should be exercised in treating patients with severe cardiovascular disease.
- Eye infections. There have been reports of bacterial eye infections associated with the use of eye drop products. Eye drops can become contaminated if not used properly or are not stored in a clean area. Be sure to always avoid touching the dropper tip against your eye or anything else.
Alphagan can cause blurred vision. This effect may seem worse at night or in reduced lighting. Alphagan may also cause drowsiness or tiredness in some patients. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Alphagan affects you.
A preservative in Alphagan may cause eye irritation and is also known to discolor soft contact lenses. Therefore, avoid contact with soft lenses. If you wear soft contact lenses take them out before using these eye drops and then wait 15 minutes after using Alphagan before inserting your lenses.
Do not use Alphagan:
- if you are allergic to Alphagan or any of its ingredients
- in children under the age of 2 years
Alphagan Food Interactions
Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Alphagan, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.
Before taking Alphagan, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:
- are allergic to Alphagan or to any of its ingredients
- are planning to administer this medication to a child between the age of 2 and 12 years of age
- suffer or have suffered from depression, reduced mental capacity, reduced blood supply to the brain, heart problems, a disturbed blood supply of the limbs or a blood pressure disorder.
- have or have had kidney or liver problems
- have or have recently had an eye infection
- use contact lenses
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Alphagan and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.
Alphagan falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with Alphagan. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication. Alphagan should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk to the fetus.
Alphagan and Lactation
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
It is not known if Alphagan crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using Alphagan.
Use Alphagan exactly as prescribed.
Alphagan comes in eyedrop form and is typically administered three times daily, with administrations approximately 8 hours apart.
Alphagan may be used simultaneously with other eyedrop products to lower intraocular pressure. If more than one eyedrop is to be used, the different products should be administered at least 5-15 minutes apart.
Always wash your hands before applying eye drops.
To be effective, Alphagan must be used every day. Do not stop using Alphagan until your doctor tells you to.
If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Alphagan at the same time.
Use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:
- the condition being treated
- other medical conditions you have
- other medications you are taking
- how you respond to this medication
- your weight
- your height
- your age
- your gender
The recommended dose of Alphagan for the treatment of increased pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension is one drop into the affected eye(s) three times daily, with administrations approximately 8 hours apart.
If Alphagan has been accidentally swallowed or you have used too much Alphagan, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
- Store at 15°-25°C (59°-77°F).
- Keep this medication and all medications out of the reach of children.