Azopt, a prescription medication, is FDA-approved for the treatment of elevated eye pressure in adults with ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma. It contains brinzolamide, an active drug categorized as a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. By regulating fluid production, Azopt effectively lowers intraocular pressure. This medication is available in the form of a liquid solution dispensed through a dropper bottle, with a concentration of 10 mg/mL.

Azopt is designed to lower intraocular pressure by reducing the production of aqueous humor in the eye. It falls under the category of carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, a group of medications that function similarly.

Carbonic anhydrase is an enzyme responsible for facilitating the production of aqueous humor in the eye. Azopt binds to carbonic anhydrase, inhibiting its activity and subsequently reducing fluid production. This mechanism leads to a decrease in intraocular pressure.

Azopt is a medication available under its brand name, which consists of the active ingredient brinzolamide. It is also available as a generic version, which is an identical copy of the active drug found in the brand-name medication.

Generic medications are often more affordable compared to their brand-name counterparts. It’s worth noting that the brand-name drug and its generic equivalent may be offered in varying forms and strengths. If you are considering the generic form of Azopt, it is recommended to consult with your doctor for further guidance.

Precautions and Warnings

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Allergy

Brinzolamide belongs to the family of medications known as sulfonamides or “sulfas.” The same type of allergic reaction can occur with this medication as with other sulfonamides. Contact your doctor if you experience a skin rash while using this medication. Stop using this medication and get medical attention if you experience hives; shortness of breath; peeling or blistering skin; or swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, or throat.

Blurred vision

This medication may temporarily cause blurred vision. If you experience blurred vision, do not drive or operate machinery until your vision returns to normal. Contact lenses: This medication contains the preservative benzalkonium chloride, which may be absorbed by soft contact lenses. Contact lenses should be removed when applying these eye drops but can be reinserted 15 minutes after application. Eye surgery, infections, and trauma: Anyone using this medication who has had eye surgery, trauma to the eye, or who has symptoms of an eye infection (e.g., eye redness, itchiness, discharge, crusts on the eyelids, or the feeling of something in the eye) should contact their doctor concerning further use of the eye drop.

General

As with other topically applied eye drops, this medication may be absorbed into the bloodstream. The same side effects reported with oral medications from the families known as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (e.g., acetazolamide, methazolamide) or sulfonamides (e.g., sulfamethoxazole) may occur with the eye drops. These side effects may include, but are not limited to, rash and nausea. Refer below for more information on side effects.

Kidney function

The kidneys are partially responsible for removing brinzolamide from the body. Kidney disease or reduced kidney function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. This medication should not be used by people with severely reduced kidney function.

Mental alertness

This medication may cause decreased mental alertness. Avoid performing tasks that require mental alertness until you have determined how this medication affects you.

Pregnancy

This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately. Breast-feeding: It is not known if brinzolamide passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding. Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children. More information on Azopt and pregnancy below.

Side Effects

Temporary blurring of vision, unusual taste, dry eyes, eye discomfort/itching/redness, sensation of foreign object, eye discharge, and headache may occur. Notify your doctor if these effects persist or worsen.

This medication has been prescribed considering the benefit-to-risk ratio. Serious side effects are rare. Contact your doctor immediately for persistent nausea/vomiting, eye swelling/pain, abdominal/side/back pain, jaundice, dark urine, easy bleeding/bruising, fatigue, or signs of infection.

In rare cases, a serious allergic reaction may occur. Seek immediate medical help if you experience rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.

This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. If you observe any other effects, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US, contact your doctor or report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Usage

Follow your doctor’s instructions and apply this medication to the affected eye(s) as prescribed, usually three times a day. Prior to use, shake the bottle thoroughly. Remember to wash your hands before administering the eye drops and avoid touching the dropper tip or allowing it to come into contact with your eye or any surface.

If you wear contact lenses, remove them before using the eye drops, and wait for at least 15 minutes after each dose before reinserting them. Tilt your head back, pull down the lower eyelid to create a pouch, and place one drop into the pouch. Close your eyes gently for 1 to 2 minutes, applying slight pressure near the nose to prevent the medication from draining out. Refrain from blinking or rubbing your eye. Repeat these steps for the other eye if instructed.

Do not rinse the dropper and securely replace the cap after each use. If you are using other eye medications, wait for at least 10 minutes before applying them. Administer eye drops before eye ointments to allow proper absorption. It is important to use this medication regularly at the same times each day to derive maximum benefits, even if you feel well. Remember, most individuals with glaucoma or high eye pressure may not experience symptoms of illness.

Drug Interactions

Possible interactions may occur between brinzolamide and medications such as acetylsalicylic acid, acetazolamide, antifungals, HIV protease inhibitors, and others. Discuss these medications with your doctor to determine the best course of action and potential adjustments to your treatment plan.

It’s important to note that interactions between medications don’t always require discontinuation. Your doctor will provide guidance on managing or adjusting any potential drug interactions.

Inform your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, herbal medications, and supplements you are taking. Additionally, disclose your use of caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, or street drugs as they may affect medication effectiveness.

Ingredients

Each milliliter of the sterile aqueous suspension contains 10 mg of brinzolamide. The pH of the suspension has been adjusted to pH 7.5 (within the range of pH 6.5 to 8.5) to match the natural pH of tears. The formulation is designed to ensure the suspension remains well-distributed and settles slowly after shaking. Additional ingredients include carbomer 974P, edetate disodium, hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide (for pH adjustment), mannitol, purified water, sodium chloride, tyloxapol, and benzalkonium chloride 0.01% as a preservative. The formulation is also iso-osmotic, enhancing ocular comfort upon administration.

Overdose

In the event of an accidental ingestion, this medication can pose a risk if swallowed. If an overdose occurs and severe symptoms like loss of consciousness or difficulty breathing are present, immediately dial 911. Otherwise, promptly contact a poison control center. US residents can reach their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Missed Dose

If you accidentally miss a dose of Azopt, take it promptly unless your next dose is approaching. Avoid taking two doses together to compensate for the missed one as it may increase the risk of side effects.

To avoid missing doses, consider using a medication reminder such as setting alarms on your phone or using reminder apps. Using a kitchen timer can also be helpful.

Pregnancy

The safety of using Azopt during pregnancy has not been established as there are no clinical studies conducted in pregnant individuals. However, studies in animals have shown that high doses of Azopt given to pregnant rabbits resulted in certain birth defects. It’s important to consider that these animal studies used doses much higher than those used in humans, and animal studies may not always reflect human outcomes.

The manufacturer recommends that Azopt should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks. If you have any concerns or questions about using Azopt while pregnant, it’s best to consult with your doctor. They can provide personalized guidance and discuss alternative treatment options, weighing the potential benefits and risks.

Storage

The longevity of medication can vary based on storage conditions and other factors.

For optimal storage of Azopt, maintain a room temperature between 39°F and 86°F (4°C to 30°C). It is recommended to store the medication in a dry location and avoid areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms.

Disposal

When you no longer require Azopt and have remaining unused medication, proper disposal is crucial for safety reasons. It prevents accidental use by others and minimizes environmental harm. This resource offers various tips on medication disposal, and your pharmacist can provide specific guidance as well.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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