PURPOSE: To report the use of brimonidine in patients with a documented ocular allergy to apraclonidine. METHODS: We conducted a prospective, open- label study on the use of long-term brimonidine therapy in 57 patients with chronic glaucoma with documented allergy to apraclonidine. The study patients were placed on brimonidine tartrate 0.2%, 1 drop three times daily in one or both eyes, either as additive therapy to a medical regimen devoid of apraclonidine for further lowering of intraocular pressure (25 patients) or as a replacement for apraclonidine at the time of diagnosis of apraclonidine ocular allergy for maintenance of intraocular pressure control (32 patients). Clinical symptoms and signs of ocular allergy to brimonidine were monitored for up to 18 months. RESULTS: During the treatment period of up to 18 months, six (10.5%) of 57 patients developed slit-lamp biomicroscopic findings and subjective symptoms of an ocular allergic reaction that led to discontinuation of brimonidine treatment. All six patients developed ocular allergy to topical brimonidine 0.2% during the first 4 months of therapy. The addition of brimonidine 0.2% topical medication or the replacement of apraclonidine with brimonidine resulted in a significant decrease in mean intraocular pressure from 20.5 ± 5.3 to 16.5 ± 4.2 mm Hg (P < .0001) at the mean treatment period of 10.6 ± 4.6 months (range, 0.5 to 18.0 months in all 57 patients: 5 to 18 months in the 51 patients without brimonidine allergy and 0.5 to 3.8 months in the six patients who developed brimonidine allergy. CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of ocular allergy after the use of brimonidine 0.2% topical medication for up to 18 months was 10.5% in patients with a documented history of apraclonidine allergy. Therefore, it is generally safe as well as efficacious to administer brimonidine to patients with an ocular allergy to apraclonidine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas