Dorzolamide belongs to the family of medications called carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Dorzolamide is used to reduce the pressure inside the eye for people with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension (increased pressure in the eye).
Fluid is constantly being formed and drained out of the eye. When this fluid does not drain out of the eye properly or too much fluid is produced, pressure inside the eye increases. Dorzolamide works by reducing the amount of fluid produced by the eye.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
Each 1 mL of sterile, clear, colourless-to-nearly-colourless ophthalmic solution contains dorzolamide 20 mg (2%). Nonmedicinal ingredients: benzalkonium chloride (as a preservative), hydroxyethylcellulose, mannitol, sodium citrate dihydrate, sodium hydroxide (to adjust pH), and water for injection.
Each 1 mL of sterile, clear, colourless-to-nearly-colourless ophthalmic solution contains dorzolamide 20 mg (2%). Nonmedicinal ingredients: hydroxyethyl cellulose, mannitol, sodium citrate dihydrate, sodium hydroxide (to adjust pH), and water for injection.
The recommended adult dose of dorzolamide eye drops is one drop in the affected eye(s) 3 times daily.
If dorzolamide is used at the same time as beta-blocker eye drops for treating increased pressure in the eye, the recommended dose is one drop in the affected eye(s) twice daily.
To use the eye drops:
If you are using the preservative-free eye drops:
Do not allow the bottle’s dropper tip to touch the eye or other surrounding structures. This can contaminate the tip with common bacteria known to cause eye infections. Serious damage to the eye may result if you use eye drop solutions that have become contaminated.
Dorzolamide eye drops should be used at least 10 minutes before or after other eye drops that are being used.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, instill it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not instill a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light, and keep it out of the reach of children. Store the preservative-free form in its foil pouch.
Dorzolamide should not be used by anyone who:
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
Although most of these side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
Allergy: Dorzolamide belongs to the family of medications known as sulfonamides or “sulfas.” The same type of allergic reaction can occur with this medication as with other sulfonamides. People with allergies to sulfonamides should discuss with their doctor the risks and benefits of using this medication. Stop using this medication and contact your doctor if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction (e.g., difficulty breathing, hives, skin rash, swelling of the mouth and throat).
Blurred vision: Side effects such as blurred vision may affect the ability to drive and operate machinery. Do not drive, operate machinery, or engage in any potentially hazardous activities until you determine how this medication affects you.
Choroidal detachment: Anyone with chronic or recurrent choroidal detachment should talk to their doctor about further use of the eye drop.
Contact lenses: If you wear contact lenses, remove the lenses before using the eye drops and wait at least 15 minutes before re-inserting them.
Eye surgery, eye (corneal) defect, infections, trauma: Anyone using this medication who has had eye surgery, pre-existing long-term eye (corneal) defect, trauma to the eye, or who has symptoms of an eye infection (e.g., eye redness, itchiness, discharge, crusts on the eyelids, or the feeling of something in the eye) should contact their doctor concerning further use of the eye drop.
General: As with other topically applied eye drops, this medication may be absorbed into the bloodstream. The same side effects reported with oral medications such as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (e.g., acetazolamide, methazolamide) or sulfonamides (e.g., sulfamethoxazole) may occur with the eye drops. These side effects may include, but are not limited to, rash and nausea. Refer to the “What side effects are possible with this medication?” section for more information.
Kidney disease: If you have kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. People with severe kidney impairment should not use dorzolamide.
Liver disease: If you have liver disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if dorzolamide passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
There may be an interaction between dorzolamide and any of the following:
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