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Combination of brinzolamide and brimonidine for glaucoma and ocular hypertension: critical appraisal and patient focus

Authors Nguyen QH

Received 15 March 2014

Accepted for publication 25 April 2014

Published 12 June 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 853—864


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Quang H Nguyen

Division of Ophthalmology, Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, CA, USA

Abstract: Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness and is characterized by optic nerve damage that results in visual field loss. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) has been associated with glaucoma progression; thus, IOP-lowering medications are the standard of care for glaucoma. Guidelines suggest monotherapy with IOP-lowering agents such as β-blockers (eg, timolol), prostaglandin analogs, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (eg, brinzolamide), and α2-receptor agonists (eg, brimonidine). However, monotherapy may provide insufficient IOP reduction in some patients, thereby necessitating the use of multiple IOP-lowering medications. Multidrug regimens may be complex, may increase the risk of preservative-related ocular symptoms, and may potentially reduce overall drug exposure as a consequence of drug washout during closely timed sequential administrations; these difficulties may reduce overall drug efficacy and decrease patient persistence and adherence with multidrug treatment regimens. Fixed-combination medications that provide two IOP-lowering therapies within a single solution are available and may overcome some of these challenges. However, all currently available fixed combinations combine timolol with another IOP-lowering agent, indicating that additional fixed-combination alternatives would be beneficial. To meet this demand, a novel fixed combination of brinzolamide 1% and brimonidine 0.2% (BBFC) has recently been developed. In two randomized, double-masked, multinational clinical trials, BBFC had greater IOP-lowering efficacy than brinzolamide or brimonidine monotherapy after 3 months of treatment in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. In both studies, the overall safety profile of BBFC was consistent with that of brinzolamide and brimonidine. Comparative studies with BBFC versus other IOP-lowering monotherapy and fixed-combination medications are not available, but the IOP reductions observed with BBFC are similar to or greater than those reported in the literature for other glaucoma treatments; thus, BBFC provides an additional fixed-combination therapeutic option for patients who require further efficacious IOP reduction and improved convenience and tolerability versus concomitant administration of two separate medications.

Keywords: adherence, fixed combination, persistence, Simbrinza®, tolerability

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