Dorzolamide - Ophthalmic

By Rania Gollakner, BS, DVM, MPH

What is dorzolamide?

Dorzolamide (brand names: Trusopt®, Cosopt®) is an anti-glaucoma medication used to treat increased pressures of the eye (ocular hypertension).

Its use in cats, dogs, and horses to treat glaucoma is ‘off label’ or ‘extra label’. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully as their directions may be significantly different from those on the label.

How is dorzolamide given?

Dorzolamide is given in the form of a liquid drop applied directly to the eye. Wash your hands before administering this medication. Do not touch the tip of the dropper to the surface of the eye or any other surface. Give this medication at least 5 minutes apart from other medications used in the eye.

This medication should take effect within 1 to 2 hours; however, effects may not be visibly obvious and therefore laboratory tests may need to be done to evaluate this medication’s effectiveness.

What if I miss giving my pet the medication?

If you miss a dose, give it when you remember, but if it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and give it at the next scheduled time, and return to the regular dosing schedule. Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.

Are there any potential side effects?

Side effects include a stinging sensation upon application to the eye, or eye inflammation, characterized by eye redness, watery eyes, and light sensitivity. Other side effects may include dry eyes, runny nose, nausea, or vomiting. Serious side effects include a cloudy or blue eye, difficulty breathing (allergic reaction), fever, or skin rash.

This short-acting medication should stop working within 24 hours, although effects can be longer in pets with liver or kidney disease.

Are there any risk factors for this medication?

Do not use dorzolamide in pets that are allergic to it or sulfonamides. It should be used cautiously in pets with kidney disease or pets that are pregnant or nursing.

Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?

There are no specific drug interactions with dorzolamide. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

Is there any monitoring that needs to be done with this medication?

Eye pressures will need to be monitored regularly to ensure that dorzolamide is working. Monitor your pet at home for serious side effects.

How do I store dorzolamide?

Store at room temperature and protect from moisture and sunlight. Protect from freezing.

What should I do in case of emergency?

If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.

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