Dorzolamide ophthalmic are eye drops used in the treatment of open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension, which is increased pressure in the eye. In most countries it is available by prescription from a doctor and may be known by different trade names in different countries, according to manufacturer. It is available by prescription only in most countries.
The eye is filled with fluid called aqueous humor, the flow of which is balanced carefully by its production in the ciliary body and outflow through various drainage systems. If any part of the process malfunctions, that is too much aqueous humor is produced, or the drainage channels become blocked, such as in open-angle glaucoma, pressure in the eye may build up. If left untreated this may result in permanent damage to the eye and loss of vision.
The optician will check the intraocular pressure of the eye at routine visits as, in general, the vision loss associated with open-angle glaucoma is slow and may not be noticed. For this specific reason, it is important to visit the optician regularly, especially with advancing age. Prevention of long-term irreversible optical damage due to glaucoma or ocular hypertension relies on early diagnosis and treatment with medication, such as dorzolamide ophthalmic.
There are numerous different classes of drugs used to treat glaucoma and the best option will be decided clinically by the optician. Dorzolamide ophthalmic belongs to the class of drugs called carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, which work by blocking the enzyme carbonic anhydrase in the eye. This enzyme is usually involved in the production of the salt, bicarbonate, which is part of the make-up of aqueous humor. By blocking the production of bicarbonate, dorzolamide ophthalmic decreases the amount of aqueous humor and, therefore, the pressure in the eye.
When using dorzolamide ophthalmic, the prescribed dosage should never be exceeded. The normal dose is one drop, instilled three times a day, but this may differ from patient to patient. In some cases, two different classes of eye drops may be used in patients not responding to one alone. If this is the case, they should be instilled at least ten minutes apart.
As with any medication, the eye drops may interact with other medications or be contraindicated in people with some clinical conditions. These should be discussed with the prescribing doctor before starting treatment. Unwanted adverse effects may also occur, most commonly local reactions such as burning or stinging of the eyes and a metallic taste in the mouth after instillation. Should severe effects occur, medical attention should be sought.