Glaucoma & Cataract, Prof. Eytan Blumenthal | Cholinergic eye drops for glaucoma, pilocarpine can lower eye pressure

Pilocarpine

How the Medication Works:
Pilocarpine lowers intra-ocular pressure by increasing the drainage of eye fluid (called aqueous humor) out of the eye. Since more fluid is drained, the pressure in the eye is lowered.

Directions for Taking the Medication:
One drop, four times a day.

Advantages of this Medication:
This medication is both inexpensive and effective and has been in use for many years. Due to the relatively significant side-effects, it is only rarely used today.

Family of Medication:
Cholinergic agonists.

Side-effects:
It is liable to cause headaches and pain in the area of the forehead, blurred vision due to constricted pupil.

Additional Information:
Cholinergic agonists.
These eye-drops (e.g. Pilocarpine) have been in use for over 100 years. These eye-drops reduce intra-ocular pressure by increasing drainage of aqueous humor. Drops from the family of cholinergic agonists rarely have significant effects on the body such as stomach aches, diaphoresis (sweating) and difficulty breathing. Additionally, this group of drops decreases the size of the pupil and thus causes difficulty with night-vision, increased myopia (near-sightedness), and discomfort surrounding the eye.

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