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Dorzolamide (Trusopt®, Cosopt®)

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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  • Glaucoma is a potentially devastating eye disease, caused by the build-up of abnormally high pressure in the eye. In the normal eye a watery fluid (called aqueous humor) is produced within the eye and also continuously drains from the eye. Pressure within the eye builds up if this fluid does not drain properly, and this pressure can damage the optic nerve, leading to vision loss.
  • Dorzolamide HCl is one of a number of topical medications used to treat glaucoma.
  • Dorzolamide belongs to a class of drugs called carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAI). CAIs decrease the amount of fluid made within the eye by inhibiting the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, which is important in the production of aqueous humor.
  • Dorzolamide has been introduced relatively recently and has not been extensively studied in animals.
  • Dorzolamide is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for humans only.
  • Human formulations: Trusopt® (Merck): contains only dorzolamide; Cosopt® (Merck): contains both dorzolamide and timolol maleate
  • Veterinary formulations: None

    Uses of Dorzolamide

  • Dorzolamide has potentially beneficial effects in the treatment of many forms of glaucoma in dogs.
  • It is also believed to have beneficial effects in the treatment of glaucoma in cats but has not been extensively studied in the cat.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, dorzolamide can potentially cause side effects in some animals.
  • Dorzolamide should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Because it is a sulfonamide-type drug, it should not be administered to any animal with a known hypersensitivity to other sulfonamides. Although sulfonamides are primarily antibacterial in nature, dorzolamide has no antibacterial properties.
  • Dorzolamide and other topical CAIs were developed in an attempt to avoid the potentially serious side effects induced with the oral forms of the CAIs, and so far these topical solutions have been very well tolerated.
  • The drug has been known to cause some local eye discomfort, such as stinging, as well as inflammation of the eyelids.
  • Dorzolamide may interact with other medications. Consult your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with dorzolamide.
  • Theoretically, the likelihood of side effects, including metabolic acidosis and excessive loss of potassium may occur when used with other forms of CAIs, so their combined use has been discouraged.

    How Dorzolamide Is Supplied

  • Dorzolamide is available as a 2% solution in 5 ml and 10 ml bottles.
  • Dorzolamide (2%) is also available in combination with 0.5% timolol maleate in 5 ml and 10 ml bottles.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • Dorzolamide is administered two to three times daily in dogs with glaucoma.
  • When combined with timolol, the drug is usually given twice daily.
  • When given alone, three times daily administration is recommended. Dosing schedules in cats are yet to be determined.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Glaucoma medications must be given consistently and on a reliable time schedule. Even if your pet feels better, glaucoma medications should not be stopped unless your veterinarian specifically instructs you to do so.

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