People with high eye pressure related to glaucoma or ocular hypertension may be prescribed Cosopt. This medicine comes in the form of an eye drop that is applied to the affected eye(s) twice a day. The two different active ingredients in this product work together and reduce the amount of fluid the eye produces, which causes the pressure in the eye to decrease.
Brand-name Cosopt is manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers.
How Does Cosopt Work?
As mentioned, Cosopt contains two different active ingredients: dorzolamide hydrochloride and timolol maleate. Dorzolamide belongs to a group of drugs called carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Carbonic anhydrase is an enzyme found in many places throughout the body, including the eye. By inhibiting this enzyme, Cosopt lowers the eye pressure by decreasing the amount of fluid the eye produces (known as aqueous humor).
Timolol belongs to a group of drugs called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, more often known as beta blockers. As the name implies, these medications block beta receptors in the body. Beta receptors are located in a number of places within the body, including the eyes. Beta blockers also lower the pressure in the eye by decreasing the amount of fluid the eye produces.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed June 15, 2010.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed June 15, 2010.
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