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      Brimonidine in the treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension

      review-article
      Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
      Dove Medical Press
      brimonidine, preservative, glaucoma, intraocular pressure, neuroprotection

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          Abstract

          Treatment in glaucoma aims to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) to reduce the risk of progression and vision loss. The alpha2-adrenergic receptor agonist brimonidine effectively lowers IOP and is useful as monotherapy, adjunctive therapy, and replacement therapy in open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension. A fixed combination of brimonidine and timolol, available in some countries, reduces IOP as effectively as concomitant therapy with brimonidine and timolol and offers the convenience of 2 drugs in a single eyedrop. Brimonidine is safe and well tolerated. Its most common side-effects are conjunctival hyperemia, allergic conjunctivitis, and ocular pruritus. The newest formulation of brimonidine, brimonidine-Purite 0.1%, has a higher pH to improve the ocular bioavailability of brimonidine. This formulation contains the lowest effective concentration of brimonidine and is preserved with Purite® to enhance ocular tolerability. Brimonidine-Purite 0.1% is as effective in reducing IOP as the original brimonidine 0.2% solution preserved with benzalkonium chloride. Recent results from preclinical and clinical studies suggest that brimonidine may protect retinal ganglion cells and their projections from damage and death independently of its effects on IOP. The potential for neuroprotection with brimonidine is an added benefit of its use in glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

          Most cited references69

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          Reduction of intraocular pressure and glaucoma progression: results from the Early Manifest Glaucoma Trial.

          To provide the results of the Early Manifest Glaucoma Trial, which compared the effect of immediately lowering the intraocular pressure (IOP), vs no treatment or later treatment, on the progression of newly detected open-angle glaucoma. Randomized clinical trial. Two hundred fifty-five patients aged 50 to 80 years (median, 68 years) with early glaucoma, visual field defects (median mean deviation, -4 dB), and a median IOP of 20 mm Hg, mainly identified through a population screening. Patients with an IOP greater than 30 mm Hg or advanced visual field loss were ineligible. Patients were randomized to either laser trabeculoplasty plus topical betaxolol hydrochloride (n = 129) or no initial treatment (n = 126). Study visits included Humphrey Full Threshold 30-2 visual field tests and tonometry every 3 months, and optic disc photography every 6 months. Decisions regarding treatment were made jointly with the patient when progression occurred and thereafter. Glaucoma progression was defined by specific visual field and optic disc outcomes. Criteria for perimetric progression were computer based and defined as the same 3 or more test point locations showing significant deterioration from baseline in glaucoma change probability maps from 3 consecutive tests. Optic disc progression was determined by masked graders using flicker chronoscopy plus side-by-side photogradings. After a median follow-up period of 6 years (range, 51-102 months), retention was excellent, with only 6 patients lost to follow-up for reasons other than death. On average, treatment reduced the IOP by 5.1 mm Hg or 25%, a reduction maintained throughout follow-up. Progression was less frequent in the treatment group (58/129; 45%) than in controls (78/126; 62%) (P =.007) and occurred significantly later in treated patients. Treatment effects were also evident when stratifying patients by median IOP, mean deviation, and age as well as exfoliation status. Although patients reported few systemic or ocular conditions, increases in clinical nuclear lens opacity gradings were associated with treatment (P =.002). The Early Manifest Glaucoma Trial is the first adequately powered randomized trial with an untreated control arm to evaluate the effects of IOP reduction in patients with open-angle glaucoma who have elevated and normal IOP. Its intent-to-treat analysis showed considerable beneficial effects of treatment that significantly delayed progression. Whereas progression varied across patient categories, treatment effects were present in both older and younger patients, high- and normal-tension glaucoma, and eyes with less and greater visual field loss.
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            The Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study: a randomized trial determines that topical ocular hypotensive medication delays or prevents the onset of primary open-angle glaucoma.

            Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States and worldwide. Three to 6 million people in the United States are at increased risk for developing POAG because of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), or ocular hypertension. There is no consensus on the efficacy of medical treatment in delaying or preventing the onset of POAG in individuals with elevated IOP. Therefore, we designed a randomized clinical trial, the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study. To determine the safety and efficacy of topical ocular hypotensive medication in delaying or preventing the onset of POAG. A total of 1636 participants with no evidence of glaucomatous damage, aged 40 to 80 years, and with an IOP between 24 mm Hg and 32 mm Hg in one eye and between 21 mm Hg and 32 mm Hg in the other eye were randomized to either observation or treatment with commercially available topical ocular hypotensive medication. The goal in the medication group was to reduce the IOP by 20% or more and to reach an IOP of 24 mm Hg or less. The primary outcome was the development of reproducible visual field abnormality or reproducible optic disc deterioration attributed to POAG. Abnormalities were determined by masked certified readers at the reading centers, and attribution to POAG was decided by the masked Endpoint Committee. During the course of the study, the mean +/- SD reduction in IOP in the medication group was 22.5% +/- 9.9%. The IOP declined by 4.0% +/- 11.6% in the observation group. At 60 months, the cumulative probability of developing POAG was 4.4% in the medication group and 9.5% in the observation group (hazard ratio, 0.40; 95% confidence interval, 0.27-0.59; P<.0001). There was little evidence of increased systemic or ocular risk associated with ocular hypotensive medication. Topical ocular hypotensive medication was effective in delaying or preventing the onset of POAG in individuals with elevated IOP. Although this does not imply that all patients with borderline or elevated IOP should receive medication, clinicians should consider initiating treatment for individuals with ocular hypertension who are at moderate or high risk for developing POAG.
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              Comparison of glaucomatous progression between untreated patients with normal-tension glaucoma and patients with therapeutically reduced intraocular pressures. Collaborative Normal-Tension Glaucoma Study Group.

              (1998)
              To determine if intraocular pressure plays a part in the pathogenic process of normal-tension glaucoma. One eye of each eligible subject was randomized either to be untreated as a control or to have intraocular pressure lowered by 30% from baseline. Eyes were randomized if they met criteria for diagnosis of normal-tension glaucoma and showed documented progression or high-risk field defects that threatened fixation or the appearance of a new disk hemorrhage. The clinical course (visual field and optic disk) of the group with lowered intraocular pressure was compared with the clinical course when intraocular pressure remained at its spontaneous untreated level. One hundred-forty eyes of 140 patients were used in this study. Sixty-one were in the treatment group, and 79 were untreated controls. Twenty-eight (35%) of the control eyes and 7 (12%) of the treated eyes reached end points (specifically defined criteria of glaucomatous optic disk progression or visual field loss). An overall survival analysis showed a statistically significant difference between the two groups (P < .0001). The mean survival time +/-SD of the treated group was 2,688 +/- 123 days and for the control group, 1,695 +/- 143 days. Of 34 cataracts developed during the study, 11 (14%) occurred in the control group and 23 (38%) in the treated group (P = .0075), with the highest incidence in those whose treatment included filtration surgery. Intraocular pressure is part of the pathogenic process in normal-tension glaucoma. Therapy that is effective in lowering intraocular pressure and free of adverse effects would be expected to be beneficial in patients who are at risk of disease progression.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                December 2006
                December 2006
                : 2
                : 4
                : 337-346
                Affiliations
                Department of Ophthalmology, Indiana University Indianapolis, IN, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Louis B Cantor Department of Ophthalmology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 6202, USA Tel +1 317 274 8485 Fax +1 317 278 1007 Email lcantor@ 123456iupui.edu
                Article
                10.2147/tcrm.2006.2.4.337
                1936355
                18360646
                69408b90-bb8e-47b3-95e2-8f19bb4ac4ae
                © 2006 Dove Medical Press Limited. All rights reserved
                History
                Categories
                Review

                Medicine
                neuroprotection,glaucoma,brimonidine,preservative,intraocular pressure
                Medicine
                neuroprotection, glaucoma, brimonidine, preservative, intraocular pressure

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