GENERIC NAME: dorzolamide
BRAND NAME: Trusopt
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Dorzolamide is an ophthalmic solution (a liquid that is placed in the eyes) that is used for treating glaucoma. It is in a class of drugs called carbonic anhydrase inhibitors which also includes brinzolamide (Azopt). Many parts of the body, including the eye, contain the enzyme carbonic anhydrase. Carbonic anhydrase controls secretion of fluid within the eye and thereby determines the pressure within the eye (intraocular pressure); the greater the amount of fluid that is secreted, the higher the pressure. Patients with glaucoma have increased intraocular pressure. Dorzolamide blocks carbonic anhydrase thereby decreasing secretion of fluid and intraocular pressure. This reduces the risk of nerve damage and loss of vision that is caused by increased intraocular pressure in patients with glaucoma. The FDA approved dorzolamide in December 1994.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of dorzolamide include:
- eye burning,
- eye stinging,
- discomfort of the eye.
These effects generally are temporary and occur immediately after administration. Approximately 1 in 4 patients complain of a bitter taste, and 1 in 10 patients experience an allergic eye reaction or eye inflammation (superficial punctate keratitis).
Other important, but less common side effects include:
Bacterial infections of the eye have been reported and may be due to accidental contamination of the containers with bacteria during handling. Dorzolamide is a sulfonamide and can be absorbed into the body. Individuals who are allergic to sulfonamides may react to dorzolamide. Therefore, dorzolamide should not be administered to patients with allergies to sulfonamides, and it can cause some of the side effects of sulfonamides. Severe skin reactions also have been reported.
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