Glaucoma Medications to Avoid: Protecting Your Vision

Nishi Kashyap
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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glaucoma medications to avoid

Glaucoma is a critical eye problem that can lead to many symptoms, like severe headaches and blurred vision.

The primary goal of Glaucoma treatment is to lower intraocular pressure, a major risk factor for the development of the disease. 

Medications play a crucial role in achieving this goal.

However, not all Glaucoma medications are suitable for everyone, and some should be avoided in certain situations. 

In this article, we will discuss some common Glaucoma medications to avoid and why they may not be the best choice for everyone.

Drugs to avoid for open-angle Glaucoma

There are certain medications that can pose a risk for individuals with Open-angle Glaucoma and can exacerbate their condition. 

These medications include:


Corticosteroids, whether taken orally, inhaled, or applied topically, can cause increased intraocular pressure and Glaucoma.

It happens especially in those with risk factors such as a family history of Open-angle Glaucoma, young age, Myopia, or Diabetes. 

Regular eye check-ups are recommended for those using steroids and if elevated eye pressure occurs.

Anti-cancer medications

Docetaxel and Paclitaxel, used to treat certain cancers, can also elevate eye pressure

Patients undergoing cancer treatment should have regular eye check-ups as recommended by their doctor.

Anaesthetic agents

Medications like Succinylcholine and Ketamine used in general anesthesia can temporarily raise eye pressure.

This elevation is typically transient and not associated with long-term harm.

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  • For closed-angle Glaucoma

    Closed Angle GlaucomaSource: getty-images-pro
    Woman Suffering from Closed Angle Glaucoma

    Closed-angle, also known as narrow-angle Glaucoma, requires special attention, as certain medications can trigger or worsen this condition. 

    Risk factors for Closed-angle Glaucoma include age, ethnicity, female gender, Hyperopia (far-sightedness), and a family history of the disease. 

    Here are a few medications to avoid with Closed-angle Glaucoma:

    Anticholinergic agents

    Anticholinergic agents can possibly increase the risk of narrow-angle Glaucoma.

    Examples of such drugs are Atropine and Tiotropium. 

    Other medications

    There are a few drugs that may lead to Closed-angle Glaucoma and should be avoided.

    It includes the following:

    • Certain sulpha drugs and anti-depressants like Fluoxetine
    • Sumatriptan for migraine attacks
    • Botox injections and Asthma drugs like Spiriva
    • Allergy medications like Diphenhydramine, Claritin, and Fexofenadine
    • Drugs for incontinence bladder like Tolterodine
    • Artane for Parkinson’s disease
    • Cimetidine and Ranitidine for gastrointestinal problems
    • Norflex for muscle spasms 
    Always consult your doctor before taking any medications for Glaucoma. They will assess your health and prescribe you accordingly. Also, share all your medical history and the supplements you are taking with the doctor. This will help them in further treatment.

    Consult a doctor

    If you have Glaucoma, it is crucial to seek professional medical advice. 

    They will diagnose and manage your condition effectively.

    Follow your doctor’s treatment plan carefully. This may include prescription eye drops, laser therapy, or surgery. 

    Take your medications as prescribed by them.

    Protecting your vision is crucial, and early detection and treatment are essential for managing the condition.


    Glaucoma is a serious eye condition and causes severe problems like blurred vision.

    There are certain medications that can cause or worsen this condition.

    Drugs like steroids should be avoided for Open-angle Glaucoma.

    Some medications like anticholinergic agents, anti-depressants, botox infections, and sulpha drugs should not be taken by Glaucoma patients.

    Always ask the doctor before taking any drug for it. This will help in selecting the correct treatment plan and protect your vision.

    Frequency Asked Questions

    What are the risk factors for Closed-angle Glaucoma?

    Closed-angle risk factors include age, ethnicity, female gender, Hyperopia, and a family history of the disease. These factors can worsen the condition of Glaucoma. Seek medical help in case of any concern or difficulty.

    Which drugs to avoid for Open-angle Glaucoma?

    People with Open-angle Glaucoma should be careful with steroids. It can raise eye pressure. This risk is higher in individuals with a family history of the condition, Myopia, or Diabetes. Regular eye check-ups are advised when taking any drugs.

    Which medications should be avoided for Closed-angle Glaucoma?

    Medications like sulpha drugs, Sumatriptan for Migraines, botox injections, Claritin and Fexofenadine for allergies should be avoided. These medications can trigger Closed-angle Glaucoma.

    Is there any risk of taking steroids for Glaucoma patients?

    Yes, there is a risk associated with taking steroids for Glaucoma patients, particularly those with Open-angle Glaucoma. Steroids can increase eye pressure, which is a concern for many patients. It is better to consult a doctor before taking any drug.

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