, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 71-79
Date: 24 Aug 2012

Pharmacologic Management of Glaucoma in Childhood

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An evidence-based review of the drugs available for the medical management of childhood glaucoma is presented; almost all of the drugs are not licensed for use in children. Despite this, most topical drugs are safe; however, there are some significant exceptions, such as brimonidine, which may cause apnea, among other life-threatening adverse events, in infants. Broad families of drugs are available including topical adrenoceptor antagonists, topical and systemic carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, prostaglandin analogs, adrenoceptor agonists, parasympathomimetics, and combination preparations. These drugs help to reduce intraocular pressure by reducing aqueous production or increasing the outflow facility.

The variety of anti-ocular hypertensive medications for childhood glaucoma has increased in recent years. The vast majority of data on these medications are from adult studies but each year more experience of their use in pediatric glaucoma is gained. In general, topical treatment is well tolerated; however, the prescribing clinician and carers should be aware of potential adverse effects and how they may present.