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.
Absorption: This medication is to be used only as a topical (surface-only) treatment for the eyes; however, as with many eye medications, it is absorbed into the bloodstream. The same side effects of systemic (oral) beta-adrenergic receptor blockers may occur with this medication. These side effects include shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheadedness, skin rash, or slow heartbeat.
Allergy: Some people who are allergic to other alpha-agonists or beta-blockers experience allergic reactions to brimonidine - timolol. Before you use this medication, inform your doctor about any previous adverse reactions you have had to medications.
Contamination: Eye drops can become contaminated with bacteria if the tip of the dropper touches any surface, including your eye. This can cause eye infections, which may lead to serious eye damage and loss of vision.
Contact lenses: The preservative in these eye drops may be absorbed by soft contact lenses. You should wait at least 15 minutes after using this medication before putting in your soft contact lenses.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: This medication may cause fatigue and/or drowsiness. Avoid driving, using machinery, or doing hazardous activities until you determine how the medication affects you.
Heart disease: People with heart conditions, such as heart block, heart failure or angina, may experience increased symptoms of their condition when using this eye drop. If you have any medical condition that may be affected by low blood pressure or reduced heart rate, 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. Medical conditions that may be affected include:
- orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure upon standing up)
- Raynaud's disease
- reduced blood flow to the brain or heart
- severe cardiovascular disease or heart failure
- thromboangiitis obliterans (inflammation and destruction of blood vessels)
Medical conditions: If you have any of the following medical conditions, 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.
- allergy to other alpha-adrenergic agonists or beta-adrenergic receptor blockers
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- liver or kidney impairment
- myasthenia gravis
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: Timolol passes into breast milk after being used as an eye drop. It is not known if brimonidine passes into human breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking brimonidine - timolol, 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.