Topical therapies for glaucoma: What family physicians need to know

Peter Lewis, T. Grant Phillips, Joseph Sassani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Medication classes historically used in the management of glaucoma include beta blockers, miotics, sympathomimetics and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Because topically applied medications are more site specific, they are preferred in the treatment of glaucoma. Compared with oral medications, topical agents are associated with a decreased incidence of systemic side effects. With topical administration, conjunctival and localized skin allergic reactions are relatively common, whereas severe reactions, including death, are rare. Recently introduced topical agents for glaucoma therapy include dorzolamide and brinzolamide, the first topical carbonic anhydrase inhibitors; brimonidine and apraclonidine, more ocular- specific alpha agonists; and latanoprost, a prostaglandin analog, which is a new class of glaucoma medication. Latanoprost has the unique side effect of increasing iris pigmentation. Like their predecessors, the newer agents lower intraocular pressure by a statistically significant degree. Preservation of visual field, the more substantial patient-oriented end point, continues to be studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1871-1879
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Family Physician
Volume59
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Family Practice

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