Glaucoma Medications and their Side Effects
A variety of options are available to treat glaucoma. These include eye drops, laser procedures, and surgery. All are intended to decrease eye pressure and, thereby, protect the optic nerve.
Currently, in the US, eye drops are often the first choice for treating patients. For many people a combination of medications and laser treatment can safely control eye pressure for years.
Eye drops used in managing glaucoma decrease eye pressure by helping the eye’s fluid to drain better and/or decreasing the amount of fluid made by the eye.
Drugs to treat glaucoma are classified by their active ingredient. These include: prostaglandin analogs, beta blockers, alpha agonists, and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. In addition, combination drugs are available for patients who require more than one type of medication. An older class of medications, the cholinergic agonists (such as pilocarpine) are not commonly used these days due to their side effects.