Hyperosmotics for Glaucoma
These medicines are used in liquid form or given through a needle
into a vein (intravenous).
How It Works
Hyperosmotics draw water out of the fluid (aqueous humor)
inside the eyes, decreasing the amount of fluid inside the eyes.
Why It Is Used
Hyperosmotics are usually used in emergencies to rapidly reduce
pressure in the eyes, most often during episodes of
closed-angle glaucoma. These medicines can also be
used to lower the pressure in the eyes before or after glaucoma surgery.
How Well It Works
These medicines dry out the eye by changing the chemical balance
in the bloodstream, causing water to be drawn out of the eye. Decreasing the
fluid in the eye results in decreased pressure in the eye. But this effect
does not last long.
Possible serious side effects of hyperosmotic medicines
Less serious side effects include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Glycerin by mouth should be used cautiously in people who have
diabetes, because it can raise blood sugar levels.
These medicines are not used for long-term treatment of
glaucoma. They are used in emergency situations when
pressure in the eyes needs to be reduced rapidly. Because these medicines
have serious side effects, people are monitored closely while they are being
treated with these medicines.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.