One of the most important glaucoma drugs is Timolol Maleate. This drug is a beta blocker available in the form of oral drops and gels. Some of the side-effects associated with this drug are cardiac arrhythmias, severe bronchospasms, and depression. The initial dosage of this drug is 0.25% of the solution, to be applied twice a day. This can be increased to 0.5% of the solution if required. This glaucoma drug is available in Canada and in the United States under the brand names Apo-Timol, Apo-Timop, PMS-Timolol, Betimol, Blocadren, and Istalol.
Other types of beta blockers such as Betaxolol (brand name: Betoptic) and Metipranolol (Brand name: Optipranolol) might have side-effects including difficulty in breathing, a slow pulse, hair loss, hypotension, fatigue, impotence, and memory loss.
Prostaglandin analogs are glaucoma drugs available by the brand names Xalatan, Travatan Z, and Lumigan. These glaucoma drugs have few systemic side-effects associated with changes in the eye itself. This glaucoma treatment is used mainly in open-angle glaucoma.
Alpha-agonists are a third type of glaucoma drugs that not only reduce the production of aqueous humor but also increase drainage of the eye. This category of glaucoma drugs includes Apraclonidine (Brand name: Opidine) and Brimonidine (Brand name: Alphagan). Such glaucoma treatments can also have possible side-effects such as fatigue, dizziness, red, itchy or swollen eyes, dry mouth, and other allergic reactions.
The next best type of glaucoma drugs are carbonic anhydrous inhibitors. These glaucoma drugs also reduce the production of aqueous humor. Examples of such glaucoma drugs include Dorzolamide (Brand name: Trusopt) and Brinzolamide (Brand name: Azopt). Some of the side-effects of these glaucoma drugs include frequent urination and a tingling sensation in the fingers and toes. This treatment shouldn’t be used if the patient already has a history of allergy or sensitivity to sulpha drugs.
Mitotic or cholinergic agents are another wonderful set of treatments that increase the drainage of aqueous humor. The most frequently used glaucoma drugs in this category are Pylocarpine (Brand name: IsoptoCarpine) and Carbachol (Brand name: IsoptoCarbachol). The possible side effects of these drugs include blurred or dim vision, pain in and around the eyes, allergic reactions, nasal congestion, sweating, increased salivation, and occasional digestive problems.
In the process of drug treatment for glaucoma, eye drops alone are not often able to bring down eye pressure to the required level. Under such conditions, the ophthalmologist may also prescribe oral glaucoma drugs. These oral glaucoma drugs are mainly available in the form of carbonic anhydrate inhibitors.
To recap quickly, the top five categories of glaucoma drugs include beta blockers, prostaglandin analogs, alpha-agonists, carbonic anhydrous inhibitors, and mitotic, or cholinergic agents.
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