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What is Azopt®?

A. Delgado
A. Delgado

Azopt®, or brinzolamide ophthalmic suspension 1 percent, is a prescribed medication used to treat glaucoma. It is a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor that works by reducing pressure in the eyes. Azopt® is manufactured by Alcon Laboratories and comes in the form of eyedrops.

The condition known as glaucoma causes too much pressure in the eyes. Although Azopt® can't cure this condition, it can help prevent optical nerve damage and loss of vision. Azopt® reduces the secretion of fluids in the eye, which lowers elevated eye pressure.


Azopt® 1 percent is sold as eyedrops administered by a dropper. Doctors prescribe dropper amounts of 5, 10 or 15 mL, depending on the severity of the glaucoma being treated. The drops are usually given to each affected eye three times a day. Patients should complete the full course of treatment even if their glaucoma symptoms improve.

Doctors advise patients to shake the Azopt® bottle for around 10 seconds before using the drops. This distributes the medicine equally. Administering the drops at the same time every day also helps prevent patients from accidentally skipping a dosage. The best way to take Azopt® is to lie down or tilt the head back and position the dropper slightly above the eye while holding the eye open with the other hand. The dropper shouldn't touch the eye, because this can lead to contamination or infection.

Patients taking any other type of eye drops should wait 10 minutes after using those drops before using Azopt®. Those who wear soft contact lenses should wait 15 minutes after taking Azopt® before putting the lenses in, because they can absorb the medication. Activities such as driving or working with machinery should be avoided if blurred vision occurs after administering the drops.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) puts Azopt® in Category C for pregnancy, which means the product could harm an unborn child. Patients seeking glaucoma treatment should let their doctor know if they're pregnant or trying to conceive. Doctors should also be told if a patient is breastfeeding. Other circumstances that could lead to adverse reactions include an allergy to brinzolamide, dental surgery, kidney disease, liver disease and the use of certain medications.

Mild side effects of Azopt® include blurred vision, headache, dry eyes, a bitter taste in the mouth, and a runny nose. Patients should call their doctor if these become severe or persistent. Doctors should be notified immediately if patients experience serious reactions, such as redness or swelling, chest pain, hives, watery eyes, trouble breathing, fever, itchy eyes or skin, and a sore throat.

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