Treatment with Medications
Medications are extremely safe and effective at treating glaucoma. Medications have multiple mechanisms of action, including slowing down the production of fluids, (turning down the faucet to a sink) or facilitating drainage of fluid from the eye (opening up the drain). The most popular and effective glaucoma medication classes include:
Examples: Xalatan®, Lumigan®, Travatan Z®
These medications work by opening up outflow channels in the eye. They are extremely effective and are only taken one time a day (usually at night). All of these medications can cause red eye, make eye-lashes grow and rarely cause mild pigmentation around the eye.
Examples: Timolol®, Betimol®, Istalol®, Betagan®
These medications have been known to be effective in treating glaucoma for many years. They work by slowing down the production of fluid inside the eye. They are not used in asthmatics or other patients with reactive airway disease. They rarely exacerbate depression.
Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors (CAI)
Examples: Azopt®, Trusopt®
These medications work by slowing down the production of fluid inside the eye and bringing down the intraocular pressure. These medications work very effectively when combined with a prostaglandin analogue or a beta-blocker. They rarely have systemic side effects but can cause eye irritation on occasion.
These medications work by slowing down the production of fluid and increasing the outflow of fluid from the eye. These medications can occasionally cause an allergic conjunctivitis with a red eye.
Examples: Cosopt® (combination of CAI and beta-blocker), Combigan® (combination of alpha agonist and beta-blocker)
These are effective and convenient medications that combine two separate medications in one bottle.