Dorzolamide (ophthalmic)

Overview

Dorzolamide is given in the form of oral eye drops, and these drops are used as a means to treat high levels of pressure in the eye. This pressure is caused by either hypertension of the eye or open-angle glaucoma. This increased pressure can not only be very painful but will also damage your vision as well. By reducing the pressure, Dorzolamide is able to reduce this pain and minimize any damaged caused.

You can only get Dorzolamide following a consultation with your ophthalmologist, who will then write you a prescription. Dorzolamide is known to interact with a variety of drugs and other medical conditions and has the possibility of causing a number of unwanted side effects. Therefore, you should never attempt to access or self-prescribe yourself the drug.

Condition(s) treated

  • Increased eye pressure due to hypertension or open-angle glaucoma

Type of medicine

  • Solution for eye drops

Side Effects

As with all drugs, Dorzolamide has the potential to cause side effects in some patients. Some of these side effects are less serious and will pass as treatment progresses, however, others are far less pleasant. Directly below is a list of more harmful side effects. If you experience any of these at any time, you should contact your doctor immediately.

More common

  • Swelling, itching, redness, or other sign of irritation in the eye or eyelid

Less common

  • Excessive tearing

Rare

  • Tearing

Incidence not known

  • Redness of your skin

Symptoms of overdose. Contact emergency medical assistance:

  • Muscle pain or cramps

As well as these, there are other side effects which don't require emergency medical assistance. These less serious side effects can often pass as your treatment progresses. However, it is understandable that these side effects may still be worrying to you. If you experience any of the below and would like further advice on how to possibly reduce some of the effects, contact your doctor.

More common

  • Feeling of something in your eye

Less common

  • Changes in color vision

Incidence not known

  • Scaling of your skin

Beyond this list, there may be other side effects you experience. If this is the case, and the side effects are worrying you, then contact your doctor for advice.

Dosage

Below you can find the typical dosage requirements given to patients suffering from hypertension or glaucoma. Do be aware that the exact dosage you are prescribed could differ from someone else's. That is because each patient is assessed individually, with other aspects of their medical condition taken into account. It also varies with the strength of the medicine, and the extent of the problem you are trying to treat. Do not alter your dosage in any way, unless told to do so by your doctor.

  • Adults and teenagers. Place one drop in the affected eye three times a day.

It is important you do not miss any doses, as this will reduce the benefit you can hope to obtain from the Dorzolamide. If you do miss a dose for any reason, then you should take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, you should skip the missed one. This is because it is important you do not double dose.

Your doctor will clarify explicitly how much you should take, and how frequently you should apply the drops. Do not take any more than has been prescribed to you by your doctor.

There will also be a patient leaflet that comes with the drug. Be sure to read this carefully before using, and then address any questions to your prescribing doctor.

If you wear soft contact lenses, then you will need to remove these before you apply the Dorzolamide. After using the eye drops, wait 15 minutes before then reapplying the contact lenses.

Here is a simple guide to using the eye drops properly:

  • First, clean your hands with soapy water.

If you are supposed to be using more than one type of eye drops, then wait at least five minutes between the application of each one. Doing it any sooner could cause one medicine to get washed out by the next.

Interactions

As mentioned previously, it is possible that Dorzolamide could interact with other drugs you take. It is important to try and limit these interactions and avoid the more serious ones altogether. To help assess the risk of any drug interactions occurring, you should inform your doctor of all drugs you use. This includes prescriptions, non-prescriptions, herbal remedies, and supplements. It may be that your doctor will limit the dosage of either Dorzolamide or another drug so as to limit the chance of such interactions. However, in particular, it is usually not recommended that you take Dorzolamide whilst also using the following:

  • Memantine

As well as drugs, Dorzolamide could also potentially interact with various parts of your dietary intake. This includes what you eat, drink, and smoke. Your doctor may advise you to limit your intake of certain foods or to try and reduce the amount of alcohol or tobacco you consume. Doing so will reduce the chance of unpleasant interactions, and could also improve the effectiveness of the medication.

Finally, other medical problems you suffer from could interact with the use of Dorzolamide. You should be clear in making your doctor aware of any other medical problems you have or have recently had. In particular, here is a list of medical problems that are known to interact more severely with Dorzolamide.

  • Liver disease. Use this drug with caution as your body will only be able to remove the medicine more slowly, causing the effects to possibly increase.

Warnings

Your doctor is required to fully access your medical condition before prescribing Dorzolamide eye drops. A part of this assessment means looking at any allergies you suffer. You should identify all such allergies, including those to Dorzolamide itself, other drugs, preservatives, dyes, and to animals. It may be that these eye drops could aggravate or react with such allergies, so it's important your doctor is made aware of them.

The studies performed on pediatric patients using Dorzolamide has not identified any problems that would cause this drug to be less useful in children.

The studies performed on geriatric patients using Dorzolamide has not identified any problems that would cause this drug to be less useful in the elderly.

At the time of writing, it is unclear as to whether any appropriate studies have been performed into the effects Dorzolamide will have on pregnant women. Instead, your doctor is best equipped to advise you on any potential risks and then weigh them against the benefits you can expect to receive. Whilst taking Dorzolamide, make your doctor aware if you become pregnant at any time.

Similarly, there have been a lack of studies performed into breastfeeding women. Again, your doctor is best placed to provide you with all the information and to come to an informed decision as to whether Dorzolamide is a suitable drug to use.

As a means to check the progress of your condition, your doctor will schedule regular appointments. It is vital that you attend all such appointments as they can properly track the progression of your condition, and make any necessary adjustments to your prescription. It is possible that you are experiencing adverse side effects without knowing it, and your doctor will be able to spot these.

If you experience signs of eyelid irritation, such as swelling, itching, or redness, then you should inform your doctor immediately. These suggest that you may be allergic to the eye drops.

Dorzolamide eye drops can cause temporary blurred vision in some patients. This makes tasks like driving or operating machinery far more dangerous. Therefore, before you perform such tasks you should first make sure you know how you react to Dorzolamide. This side effect is also more serious, so you should contact your doctor straight away if you do get blurred vision.

The drops can also cause your eyes to become more sensitive to light. To help reduce this unpleasantness you should try and avoid direct exposure to sunlight, and try wearing sunglasses. This should lessen the discomfort, however, if it continues then you should inform your doctor.

If you or your child, need to have surgery, develop an eye infection, or hurt your eye at any stage, then you should tell your doctor right away. It may mean you or your child will need a new bottle of drops to keep an infection from getting worse, or to prevent one.

The following are signs of a severe allergic reaction to Dorzolamide. If you experience any of them, then contact your doctor immediately.

  • Unusual weakness or tiredness

You should not take any other medicines whilst using Dorzolamide unless they have been approved by your doctor. This includes all other prescription and nonprescription drugs, as well as supplements, or herbal medicines.

Storage

You should store your Dorzolamide in a sealed container in a safe place out of reach of children. It should be kept at room temperature, away from heat, direct light and moisture You should also ensure that it is never allowed to freeze at any point. Once you have finished your course of treatment, you should dispose of any remaining medication in a safe and sensible manner as advised by your doctor. Never use any medicine that has become out-of-date, and instead, seek a new prescription.

Summary

If you are suffering from increased eye pressure, then you will no doubts be seeking a way to reduce the pain and ensure the health of your long-term vision. Dorzolamide is a very useful drug for achieving just this, but it must be only be taken if you have had it prescribed Throughout the above advice, you can see that this drug can react with a variety of other health condition, and elements of your dietary intake. Your doctor is best placed to advise you on ways to maximise the benefits of using this drug, and of reducing unwanted side effects.

If you do experience serious side effects at any time, then you should contact your doctor immediately. To reduce the chance of these, follow your doctor's prescription as closely as possible, and never use any more than you were told. More commonly, this drug can cause temporary blurred vision in some patients so do not schedule in any driving or dangerous tasks after the first few days of using Dorzolamide. Instead, it may be safer to have someone else drive you anywhere you need to go.