Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Allergies: Brinzolamide belongs to the family of medications known as sulfonamides or "sulfas." The same type of allergic reaction can occur with this medication as with other sulfonamides. Contact your doctor if you experience a skin rash while using this medication. Stop using this medication and get medical attention if you experience hives; shortness of breath; peeling or blistering skin; or swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, or throat.
Blurred vision: This medication can cause temporary blurred vision. Do not drive or operate machinery until your vision returns to normal.
Contact lenses: The preservative used in the eye drops (benzalkonium chloride) may be absorbed by soft contact lenses. Contact lenses should be removed before using the eye drops and not reinserted for at least 15 minutes.
Drowsiness and reduced alertness: This medication may cause fatigue or drowsiness. Avoid driving, using machinery, or doing hazardous activities until you determine how the medication affects you.
Eye surgery, infections, trauma: If you have had eye surgery or trauma to the eye, or if you have symptoms of an eye infection (e.g., eye redness, itchiness, discharge, crusts on the eyelids, or the feeling of something in the eye), contact your doctor about further use of the eye drop.
General: As with other eye drops, this medication may be absorbed into the bloodstream. You may experience the same side effects reported with oral medications from the families known as beta-blockers (e.g., timolol, propranolol, metoprolol), carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (e.g., acetazolamide, methazolamide), or sulfonamides (e.g., sulfamethoxazole). These side effects may include, but are not limited to, shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheadedness, rash, or slow heartbeat. Refer to the section, "What side effects are possible with this medication?" for more information.
Heart problems: People with heart failure should have their condition controlled before starting this medication. People with severe heart disease should discuss with their doctor whether any special monitoring is needed. This medication may make angina (chest pains) worse. If you have angina, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: If you have reduced liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Low blood sugar: If you are prone to low blood sugar or have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar closely while taking this medication, as it may mask the signs of low blood sugar.
Muscle weakness: Beta-blockers such as timolol have been reported to increase muscle weakness associated with certain conditions, such as myasthenia gravis. If you experience symptoms of muscle weakness, contact your doctor.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if brinzolamide passes into breast milk. Timolol does pass into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.