Meds and you

27 September 2013

Brinzolamide

Brinzolamide is the active ingredient of Azoptic eye drop suspension (Nappi code: 701523-001).

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Brinzolamide is the active ingredient of Azoptic eye drop suspension (Nappi code: 701523-001).

General information

Brinzolamide is a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors are drugs that block the effect of an enzyme in the red blood cells, carbonic anhydrase, which is responsible for the formation of bicarbonate in the blood/body. Intra-ocular pressure is reduced as a result of this process.

In South Africa it is either used on its own, or in combination with a beta-receptor blocker for the reduction of elevated intra-ocular pressure in ocular hypertension, and also for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma.

For this medication to be effective, it has to be taken regularly, even if you do not notice an immediate effect.

It is recommended that after administering these eye drops, you press on the tear duct (at the corner of the eye closest to your nose), or gently close your eyes for about three minutes. This process, nasolacrimal occlusion, may possibly reduce systemic side effects and also increase the local effect of the medication in the eye.

It should be noted that because this drug may cause visual disturbances and/or dizziness, driving and any hazardous tasks should be avoided until you know how this medication affects you.

Brinzolamide ophthalmic drops should not be used if you have soft contact lenses in your eyes.

How does brinzolamide work?

Bicarbonate is required for the production of the watery fluid inside the eye. When brinzolamide blocks the production of bicarbonate, the production of watery fluid within the eye is also reduced. As a result the aqueous humour filling the eye is decreased, and subsequently the intra-ocular pressure within the eye is reduced.

Fast facts

Drug schedule:
schedule 3
Available as:
brinzolamide is available as eye drops.
What does it do?
Brinzolamide reduces pressure within the eye
Overdose risk:
low
Dependence risk:
low
Is brinzolamide available as a generic?
no
Is brinzolamide available on prescription only?
yes

User information

Onset of effect: within 1 hour
Duration of action: 4 - 8 hours
Stopping this medicine: do not stop taking this drug without consulting your doctor.
Prolonged use: no problems expected

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you are allergic to sulphonamides, such as the antibiotic sulphametoxazole
  • you have liver disease
  • you have been diagnosed with high levels of chloride in the blood
  • you have diabetes
  • you are taking any other medication

Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: avoid. This medication may cause serious adverse effects. Consult your doctor before use.
Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children under the age of 18 years.
The elderly: caution is advised in the elderly as side effects are more likely to occur.
Driving and hazardous work: caution is advised as use of this medication may lead to dizziness, light-headedness and/or sedation. Avoid such activities until you know how this medication affects you.
Alcohol: no special precautions need to be taken.

Possible side effects

Side Effect
Frequency
Consult your doctor

Common
Rare
Only if severe
In all cases
burning
X

X

stinging
X

X

tingling sensation
X

X

local irritation
X

X

blurred vision
X

X

dry eyes

X
X

sensation of having a foreign body in the eye

X
X

double vision

X

X
drooping eyelid

X

X
taste disturbance

X
X

abdominal pain

X
X

back pain

X
X

headache

X
X

nausea

X
X

eyelid oedema

X

X
crusting, or oozing of your eyes or eyelids

X

X
fever

X

X
sore throat

X

X
chest pain

X

X

Interactions

Drug interactions

acetazolamide risk of added systemic toxicity
topical beta-blockers additive effect in reducing intra-ocular pressure
aspirin risk of brinzolamide toxicity

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 1 drop 2 - 3 times daily.

(This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.)

 
 

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