Why is this medicine prescribed?
Ophthalmic dorzolamide is used to treat glaucoma, a condition in which increased pressure in the eye can lead to gradual loss of vision. Dorzolamide is in a class of medications called carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. It works by decreasing the pressure in the eye.
Are there other uses for this medicine?
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Ophthalmic dorzolamide comes as a solution (liquid) to instill in the eye. Dorzolamide eye drops are usually instilled three times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use dorzolamide eye drops exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of them or use them more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Dorzolamide eye drops control glaucoma but do not cure it. Continue to use dorzolamide eye drops even if you feel well. Do not stop using dorzolamide eye drops without talking to your doctor.
To instill the eye drops, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Check the dropper tip to make sure that it is not chipped or cracked.
- Avoid touching the dropper tip against your eye or anything else; eye drops and droppers must be kept clean.
- While tilting your head back, pull down the lower lid of your eye with your index finger to form a pocket.
- Hold the dropper (tip down) with the other hand, as close to the eye as possible without touching it.
- Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your face.
- While looking up, gently squeeze the dropper so that a single drop falls into the pocket made by the lower eyelid. Remove your index finger from the lower eyelid.
- Close your eye for 2 to 3 minutes and tip your head down as though looking at the floor. Try not to blink or squeeze your eyelids.
- Place a finger on the tear duct and apply gentle pressure.
- Wipe any excess liquid from your face with a tissue.
- If you are to use more than one drop in the same eye, wait at least 5 minutes before instilling the next drop.
- Replace and tighten the cap on the dropper bottle. Do not wipe or rinse the dropper tip.
- Wash your hands to remove any medication.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using dorzolamide eye drops,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to dorzolamide, other antibiotics, sulfa drugs, or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially eye medications, products that contain aspirin, and vitamins.
- if you are using another topical eye medication, instill it at least 10 minutes before or after you instill dorzolamide eye drops.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using dorzolamide eye drops, call your doctor.
- tell your doctor if you wear soft contact lenses. Remove your contact lenses before instilling dorzolamide eye drops and put them back in at least 15 minutes later.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using dorzolamide eye drops.
What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
Instill the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not instill a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medicine cause?
Dorzolamide eye drops may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stinging, burning, or discomfort in the eye after inserting the drops
- bitter taste after inserting the drops
- sensitivity to light
- upset stomach
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop using dorzolamide eye drops and call your doctor immediately:
- itching eyes
- redness or swelling eyes
- watery eyes
- skin rash
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p ) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor will order certain eye tests to check your response to dorzolamide eye drops.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.