What are the possible side effects of glaucoma eyedrops?

Different glaucoma eyedrops can cause different side effects. Because the glaucoma medicine can keep you from losing your sight, you may have to tolerate some mild side effects.


They can cause:

  • Breathing problems for those with asthma or emphysema
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Depression
  • Change in sex drive (impotence)

Alpha Agonists

They can cause:

  • A red eye or red skin around the eye
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue or decreased energy

Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors

They can cause:

  • Eye redness or irritation
  • Skin rash (especially in individuals with known allergy to sulfa drugs)
  • Change in taste (especially with carbonated beverages)
  • Stomach upset or nausea
  • Fatigue and decreased energy

Prostaglandin Analogs or Prostamides

They can cause:

  • Eye redness or irritation
  • A change in eye color (mostly in hazel or blue to green eyes)
  • Increase in thickness and number of eyelashes
  • Joint aches or flu-like syndrome


They can cause:

  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Retinal detachment

Retinal detachment is rare. If you notice dark floating spots or flashing lights in your vision, call your ophthalmologist immediately.

Many new eyedrops are becoming available. As with any medication, eye medications can cause eye allergies, irritation or other side effects, as listed above.

If you experience any side effects, contact your ophthalmologist immediately. Tell your other doctors if you are using eyedrops for glaucoma.

Continue Learning about Glaucoma Treatments

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.