Combigan

Generic Name: Brimonidine

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Combigan is an eye drop used to lower pressure in the eye in people with glaucoma or high pressure in the eye. Combigan contains two medicines: brimonidine and timolol.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Increased pressure in the eye and glaucoma can result when the fluid that flows through and nourishes the lens and cornea (the clear front part of the eye) cannot drain normally. Combigan is thought to lower pressure in your eye by reducing the production of this fluid.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: By reducing the pressure in your eye, Combigan may help reduce the risk of developing glaucoma-related vision loss.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you use Combigan exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    Your healthcare provider may examine your eyes or perform certain tests to check how well this medication is working.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: pink eye; red eye; itching, burning, or stinging in your eye.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Combigan may cause muscle weakness, breathing problems, allergic reactions, or heart failure (with symptoms such as weight gain, increased shortness of breath, or a slow heartbeat).

    Combigan may hide symptoms of low blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not use Combigan if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not use Combigan if you have certain heart problems (such as heart failure, a slow heartbeat, or if your heart skips a beat).

    Do not use Combigan if you have or had asthma or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (narrowing of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe).

    Do not use Combigan in children <2 years.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Combigan. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart, thyroid, or breathing problems; diabetes; depression; blood circulation problems; myasthenia gravis (a disease characterized by long-lasting fatigue and muscle weakness); or if you are scheduled for surgery.

    Tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of severe allergic reactions to any allergens, because Combigan may decrease the effectiveness of epinephrine, a medicine used to treat such reactions.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults and children ≥2 years: The recommended dose is 1 drop in the affected eye(s) twice a day, about 12 hours apart.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Use Combigan exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop using Combigan without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Combigan contains a preservative that may be absorbed by your contact lenses. Remove your contact lenses prior to the administration of Combigan. You may reinsert your contact lenses 15 minutes after you apply Combigan.

    If you are using Combigan with another eye drop, the drops should be applied at least 5 minutes apart.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not allow the tip of the bottle to touch your eye or any other surface, as this can contaminate Combigan.

    Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or engage in other tasks requiring alertness until you know how Combigan affects you.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Combigan is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Combigan with the following: alcohol, blood pressure/heart medications known as beta-blockers (such as atenolol or metoprolol) or calcium-channel blockers (such as amlodipine or diltiazem), certain antidepressants (such as amitriptyline, sertraline, or phenelzine), digoxin, medicines that slow down your brain function (such as phenobarbital or oxycodone), other blood pressure/heart medications, quinidine, or reserpine.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Combigan during pregnancy are unknown. Combigan can be found in your breast milk if you use it while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are using Combigan. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Combigan, apply it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from light.

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I'm Kristen Dore, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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