Recent publications have suggested that the long term use of topical antiglaucoma medications may be detrimental to the outcome of trabeculectomy. In order to investigate this further, the effect of several adrenergic agents and a preservative on the proliferation and viability of human Tenon's capsule fibroblasts in tissue culture were examined. The following compounds were tested: adrenaline (Eppy 1% and pure adrenaline base 1%, Smith & Nephew Pharmaceuticals Ltd); dipivefrine hydrochloride (Propine 0.1% and pure dipivefrine hydrochloride 0.1% Allergan Ltd and Allergan Pharmaceuticals (Ireland) Ltd); benzalkonium chloride (pure benzalkonium chloride 0.01%, Sigma Chemical Company Ltd); the two adrenaline based preparations were also tested in the presence of an antioxidant. None of the tested compounds stimulated the proliferation of fibroblasts. The commercial products tested, their pure compounds, and the preservative all inhibited proliferation and had toxic effects on the cells. In the presence of antioxidant, commercial Eppy and pure adrenaline base appeared to have less effect on proliferation and toxicity. These findings are discussed with reference to the outcome of trabeculectomy.