What Kind of Eye Drops Are There for Glaucoma?


Quick Answer

Glaucoma can be treated with different classes of drugs available as eye drops, notes MedicineNet. Most common ones include beta-adrenergic agonists, prostaglandin analogs, adrenergic agonists and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors.

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Beta-adrenergic agonists are used to treat glaucoma because they reduce the production of aqueous humor in the eye, explains MedicineNet. These drugs have significant side effects including worsening of asthma and emphysema. Other side effects include low blood pressure, fatigue and impotence. Drugs in this class include timolol, levobunolol, carteolol and metipranolol.

Prostaglandin analogs work by increasing the drainage in the eye and are prescribed more frequently than beta-blockers because they only need to be used once per day and are associated with less side effects, explains MedicineNet. Drugs in this class include latanoprost, travoprost and bimatoprost.

Adrenergic agonists reduce the production of fluid in the eye and increase eye drainage, states MedicineNet. The use of these eye drops is associated with a 12 percent risk of a local allergic reaction. Drugs in this class include brimonidine, dipivefrin and apraclonidine. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors also reduce fluid production in the eye. Eye drop form of these drugs include dorzolamide and brinzolamide.

Ophthalmologists sometimes prescribe eye drops with more than one class of medication to patients to control glaucoma, according to MedicineNet. The most common combination is Cosopt, which is timolol and dorzolamide in a single drop.

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