Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness, making it a relatively common problem. There is some evidence that certain antidepressants can contribute to glaucoma. Other drugs can also adversely interact with it. Thus, it’s important to understand information surrounding safe antidepressants and glaucoma.
In this article, we explain safe antidepressants and glaucoma treatments. You want to ensure that your medication improves your symptoms, not worsens them.
SSRIs, Safe Antidepressants and Glaucoma
Doctors prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, more often than any other type of antidepressant. Unfortunately, SSRIs contribute to glaucoma.
Studies reveal that patients taking SSRIs over the long-term have a higher chance of getting glaucoma. It’s recommended that any patients taking SSRIs should be monitored in case they start showing symptoms of glaucoma.
The risk is generally not too serious. Patients prescribed higher-than-average doses of SSRIs are more at risk.
Medications That Interact With Glaucoma
There are two things to consider here: drugs that interact with glaucoma itself, and drugs that interfere with glaucoma medication.
Drugs That Affect Glaucoma
Drugs that interfere with the drainage of the eye may worsen glaucoma. Patients with a specific type of glaucoma known as angle-closure glaucoma are also at risk if they use these medications.
These medications include:
- Anticholinergics (including many asthma meds, allergy meds, anti-emetics, and antidepressants).
- Drugs that contain ephedrine.
- Drugs that contain sulfonamide.
- Any type of oral steroids should be avoided due to their impact on eye pressure.
Drugs that Interfere With Glaucoma Meds
If you are already diagnosed with glaucoma and taking medicine, then you want to make sure that you don’t interfere with your current drug regimen.
There are lots of drugs that may interact with glaucoma meds. These include:
- Antihypertesives. If you are taking topical beta-blockers for your glaucoma, it may be wise to avoid antihypertensives. These drugs include diuretics, beta-blockers, and calcium antagonists. Combining these meds may lead to problems with blood pressure.
- ACE inhibitors should be avoided. These meds work to fight high blood pressure. If you combine them with an anti-glaucoma beta-blocker, then you could create further problems with blood pressure. They may also cause an irregular heart beat.
- Hypoglycemics may interact with anti-glaucoma meds. This is especially true if you also struggle with diabetes.
- Adrenergic agonists are drugs used to help manage asthma. Taking these alongside beta blockers can interfere with your asthma medication.
- Hypolipidemic medication may cause problems. These drugs can interfere with Lumigan, Travatan, and Xalatan. However, this combination of drugs is rare.
- Alphagan can cause hypotension or an irregular heartbeat.
- Sulfonamide drugs, like Trusopt and Azopt, can interfere with glaucoma meds. Avoid these entirely if you have kidney disease.
Glaucoma is a fairly common condition affecting a large number of people throughout the world. Doctors prescribe a variety of medications to treat glaucoma.
It’s important to double-check the possible interactions between different medications. If you are taking SSRI antidepressants, it’s also a good idea to have your doctor regularly check for symptoms of glaucoma – especially if you plan to donate blood.