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Antiglaucoma medications are used to treat glaucoma, which refers to a group of eye conditions in which drainage of aqueous humor out of the eye is restricted, causing an increased intraocular pressure.
Now, antiglaucoma medications can be divided based on their mechanism of action into two classes: those that decrease aqueous humor production, and those that increase aqueous outflow.
Medications to decrease aqueous humor production include beta-adrenergic blockers, like timolol, levobunolol, and betaxolol; and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, like brinzolamide and acetazolamide.
On the other hand, medications to improve aqueous outflow include prostaglandin analogs, like latanoprost and bimatoprost; and cholinergic agents, like pilocarpine.
Additionally, some medications can work by both decreasing the production and increasing the outflow of aqueous humor, including alpha-adrenergic agonists like brimonidine and apraclonidine. Finally, acute cases can be treated with osmotic diuretics, like mannitol.
After administration, osmotic diuretics act as hyperosmotic agents by creating an osmotic gradient that attracts water out of the eyes and into the blood, to rapidly decrease intraocular pressure.
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