Current Considerations in the Treatment of Glaucoma

Edward M. DeSimone II, RPh, PhD, FAPhA; Brett A. Pietig, PharmD


US Pharmacist. 2015;40(6):39-45. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Glaucoma is a disorder of the eyes that can lead to blindness. Its incidence increases with age. While there is no cure, numerous topical medications are used to reduce the elevated intraocular pressure seen in patients. Topical prostaglandin analogues and beta-blockers are the most commonly used medications. Pharmacists can be effective partners in the treatment of glaucoma by monitoring adherence, counseling patients on the proper use of eyedrops, and recommending preservative-free or combination products when problems arise.


Glaucoma refers to a group of chronic disorders that can lead to optic nerve damage, retinal ganglion cell death, and visual-field defects. If left untreated or not treated adequately, it can lead to blindness. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world.[1] There is no cure, and patients will need treatment for the rest of their lives to prevent visual-field deterioration.[2] Of the different types, the two most prevalent are primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle-closure glaucoma (ACG).[2] A variety of oral and topical treatments are available.