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Buy Alphagan Eye Drops or Generic Brimonidine Tartrate Online

A prescription is required for this item.
GENERIC ALTERNATIVE LISTING - Brimonidine Tartrate
Dosage Pack Size & Price Qty
0.20%
BRAND LISTING - Alphagan Eye Drops (Brimonidine Tartrate)
Dosage Pack Size & Price Qty
.20%
Product description medically reviewed by Dr. Ami Patel, PharmD (Apr 16, 2020)

What are Alphagan Eye Drops?

As the name implies, Alphagan Eye Drops are eye drops prescribed for use in the eyes. They're used for two primary purposes: to lower pressure in the eye (in the event that pressure has built to a problematic level) and to manage glaucoma. Alphagan Eye Drops contain the active ingredient brimonidine tartrate. This prescription eye medication may be used alone or in conjunction with other eye medications, depending on the nature of the condition being treated.

Brimonidine is part of a class of medications called alpha adrenergic agonists. These drugs work by stimulating alpha receptors on the blood vessels in the eyes, thereby constricting the blood vessels. This has two effects: It speeds up water flow out of the eye while simultaneously decreasing the in-flow of water into the eye chamber. Together, these two mechanisms help reduce pressure that may otherwise occur if too much fluid builds up in the eye.

People with open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension (aka raised pressure in the eye) may be prescribed Alphagan Eye Drops or generic Brimonidine Tartrate because of these functions. Alphagan Eye Drops will not cure glaucoma but they can assist in the management of the condition. In some cases, people may be prescribed Alphagan drops for just a brief time prior to eye surgery.

Drugs similar to Alphagan Eye Drops include:

Conditions treated by Alphagan Eye Drops

Alphagan Eye Drops are used to manage or treat open angle glaucoma and/or ocular hypertension. Both of these conditions are marked by raised pressure in the eye (although not everyone with glaucoma will experience this symptom).

Glaucoma is an eye condition that damages the optic nerve in the eye. It typically occurs when the fluid that normally flows evenly through the eye starts to build up in the eye and cause pressure. Fluid is pumped into the eye by natural bodily processes, but it can start to build up to problematic levels when it flows out of the eye more slowly than it enters the eye. This increases the volume of fluid in the eye, which raises pressure in the eye. That raised pressure, in turn, can cause damage to the back of the eye and even cause eventual sight loss.

Ocular hypertension is similar to glaucoma in that it is characterized by raised pressure in the eye. In the case of ocular hypertension, the front of the eye does not properly drain fluid, which causes fluid and pressure build-up in the eye. While ocular hypertension shares characteristics with glaucoma, it is not the same as glaucoma. (However, it is a risk factor for glaucoma.) Unlike glaucoma, ocular hypertension does not typically cause damage to the optic nerve or lead to vision loss.

Alphagan Eye Drops assist in the management of both of these conditions by decreasing pressure, or intraocular pressure (IOP), in the eye. The effects are strongest approximately two hours after the eye drops are administered and generally last for 12 hours or more.

What to know before using Alphagan Eye Drops

Prior to using Alphagan Eye Drops, take the following into account:

  • Tell your doctor if you take other medications, have allergies or other medical conditions (especially liver or kidney disease or a heart condition), or if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • Do not use Alphagan Eye Drops if you are allergic to any of their ingredients or take monoamine oxidase antidepressants.

  • Thoroughly wash your hands prior to using Alphagan Eye drops. When administering the eye drops, make sure not to touch the tip of the dropper to your eye, eyelid, or anything else. This will help reduce the risk of contamination.

  • Do not use the eye drops if their color has changed or there appear to be particles floating in the liquid.

  • Do not use Alphagan drops while wearing soft contact lenses. Remove soft contact lenses while administering the drops and leave them out of your eyes for at least 15 minutes after application.

  • After administering the eye drops, tip your head down slightly, close your eyes, place your index finger and thumb at the inside corners of your eyes, and apply gentle pressure for approximately one to two minutes. This prevents the drops from draining into the tear ducts.

  • Make sure to have your eye pressure checked regularly while using Alphagan Eye Drops. This will help your doctor ensure the drops are working properly. Do not stop taking the eye drops without consulting your doctor.

  • Be sure to keep these eye drops out of the reach of children. If a child or adult swallows any of the medication, consult a doctor or poison control center immediately.

Alphagan Eye Drops may provoke blurred vision, dizziness, and/or drowsiness. For this reason, it's important to learn whether you experience these side effects prior to driving or operating machinery. Note that alcohol may exacerbate drowsiness caused by this medication.

Possible Alphagan Eye Drops side effects

As with all prescription drugs, there are potential Alphagan side effects. These may include:

  • Burning, irritation, redness, or stinging in the eyes
  • Dryness in the eyes or mouth
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Cold- or flu-like symptoms such as a runny nose or pressure in the face
  • Light sensitivity
  • Headaches
  • Cough and/or sore throat
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Red or swollen eyelids
  • Blurred vision
  • Heartburn
  • Runny or watery eyes

More serious side effects may include:

  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Trouble breathing
  • Rash
  • Blind spots, or seeing specks or light flashes
  • Nausea

If you experience these or other symptoms, be sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Alphagan Eye Drops FAQs

What is the proper dosage of Alphagan Eye Drops?

Different people may be prescribed different Alphagan dosages, so be sure to follow your doctor's recommendations. A typical recommended dose is one drop of brimonidine tartrate 0.2 percent eye drops into the affected eye(s) two times each day, spaced approximately 12 hours apart. Brimonidine tartrate 0.15 ophthalmic solution is typically prescribed at a dosage of one drop of solution three times daily, or approximately every eight hours.

If you miss a dose and it is close to the time of your next dose, simply take the next dose and continue dosing normally. If it is not close to the time of your next dose, take a dose as soon as you remember and then return to your usual dosing schedule. Do not double up doses, as using too much of this medication may increase the risk of side effects. If you’re not sure about skipping or taking doses, consult your prescribing doctor or a pharmacist.

What is the difference between Alphagan Eye Drops and generic Brimonidine Tartrate?

Alphagan Eye Drops are available under multiple brand names. The Alphagan generic, Brimonidine Tartrate, contains the same active ingredient as brand-name Alphagan Eye Drops. If you are unsure as to whether a generic version will operate in the same way as a brand-name version, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

What is the proper way to store Alphagan Eye Drops?

Make sure to store the eye drops at room temperature and avoid exposing them to excessive cold or heat. Store Alphagan Eye Drops away from children. Never store the eye drops without a tightly sealed lid; doing so can increase the risk of contamination.

What is the proper way to dispose of Alphagan Eye Drops?

In general, it's a good idea to dispose of any leftover eye drops after 28 days. That’s because eye drops contain an anti-germ preservative that becomes less effective after four weeks.

Do not dispose of Alphagan Eye Drops in the trash can or by flushing them down the toilet or sink. Instead, dispose of the eye drops via a medicine take-back program or by consulting your pharmacist about the proper protocol.

The information provided on the NorthWestPharmacy.com website is intended to facilitate awareness about healthcare products and medical conditions generally but it is not a substitute for professional medical attention or advice. You should always speak with a qualified healthcare practitioner before taking any prescription or non-prescription drug.