Meds and you

27 September 2013

Apraclonidine

Apraclonidine is an alpha adrenoceptor agonist. Alpha adrenoceptor agonists are drugs that act on blood vessels in the eye causing vasoconstriction.

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Apraclonidine is the active ingredient of Iopidine ophthalmic solution (Nappi code: 833789-007) and Iopidine 0.5 & ophthalmic solution (Nappi code: 825484-006).

General information
Apraclonidine is an alpha adrenoceptor agonist. Alpha adrenoceptor agonists are drugs that act on blood vessels in the eye causing vasoconstriction and are used to reduce fluid pressure within the eye.

In South Africa apraclonidine is registered for the control and prevention of raised intra-ocular pressure after some types of eye surgery.

It should be noted that because this drug may cause drowsiness and/or visual disturbances, driving and any hazardous tasks should be avoided until you know how this medication affects you.

Apraclonidine ophthalmic drops should not be used if you have soft contact lenses in your eyes.

How does apraclonidine work?

Apraclonidine as an eye drop causes blood vessels in the eye to narrow. By narrowing these blood vessels, less fluid passes through the blood vessel into the eyeball, thereby reducing pressure within the eye.

 

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 3
Available as: apraclonidine is available as eye drops.
What does it do? Apraclonidine reduces pressure inside the eyes.
Overdose risk: medium
Dependence risk: low
Is apraclonidine available as a generic? no
Is apraclonidine available on prescription only? yes

User information

Stopping this medicine: do not stop taking this drug without consulting your doctor.
Prolonged use: regular ophthalmic examination is advised with long-term use. The effect of this drug may diminish with prolonged use.

Special precautions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have or had heart disease
  • you have a history of stroke, myocardial infarction or angina
  • you have depression
  • you have high blood pressure
  • you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant
  • you have liver or kidney disease
  • you have been diagnosed with Reynaud’s syndrome
  • you are taking any other medication

Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: avoid as no data is available of the safety of this medication in patients with porphyria.
Infants and children: not recommended for use in children.
The elderly: caution is advised in the elderly as side effects are more likely to occur.
Alcohol: no special precautions need to be taken.

Possible side effects

 

Side Effect
Frequency
Consult your doctor
 
Common
Rare
Only if severe
In all cases
watery eyes
X
 
X
 
burning
X
 
X
 
stinging
X
 
X
 
blurred vision
X
 
X
 
itching
X
 
X
 
raising of upper eyelid
 
X
 
X
increase in pupil
 
X
 
X
shortness of breath
 
X
 
X
headache
 
X
X
 
dry mouth
 
X
X
 
runny nose/sore throat
 
X
X
 
fatigue
 
X
X
 
dizziness
 
X
X
 
irregular heartbeat
 
X
 
X
eye pain
 
X
 
X

Interactions

Drug interactions

 

adrenaline, noradrenaline risk of high blood pressure
tricyclic antidepressants increased risk of side effects; blunting of pressure reducing effect
mianserin increased risk of side effects
mono-amine oxidase inhibitor antidepressants increased risk of side effects

Disease interactions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have or had heart disease, you have a history of stroke or angina, you have depression, you have liver or kidney disease, or if you have been diagnosed with Reynaud’s syndrome.

Overdose action
A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage
Adults: 1 drop in the affected eye(s) every 8 hours.

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 

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