Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Azopt?

    Azopt is a prescription medication with a brand name. It is approved by the FDA for the treatment of elevated eye pressure in adults. This elevated eye pressure can occur in two conditions:

    • Ocular Hypertension: This is a condition characterized by high blood pressure in the eye.
    • Open-Angle Glaucoma: Azopt is also used to treat open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common form of glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye disease primarily caused by increased pressure within the eye. Azopt helps reduce this pressure to manage the condition.
  2. What is the available form and strength of Azopt?

    Azopt is available in the form of a liquid solution contained in a dropper bottle with a dispensing tip. The strength of Azopt is 10 milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL).

  3. What are the side effects of Azopt?

    Azopt is a medication used to treat certain eye conditions, but like all medications, it can have side effects. Here are the mild and serious side effects associated with Azopt:

    Mild side effects:

    • Blurred Vision: Blurred vision is a common side effect, occurring in 5% to 10% of users. This effect typically subsides shortly after using the medication.
    • Unusual Taste in Mouth: Some people may experience a bitter or unusual taste in their mouth while using Azopt, with a prevalence of 5% to 10% in clinical studies.
    • Dry Eye: Dryness of the eye can occur.
    • Eye Discharge: Some users may experience eye discharge.
    • Eye Discomfort: Discomfort, pain, or itchiness in the eye can be a side effect. Some individuals may have a sensation as if something is in their eye.
    • Blepharitis: This is inflammation of the eyelids.
    • Headache: Headaches are reported in 1% to 5% of Azopt users.
    • Keratitis: Inflammation of the cornea can occur.
    • Rhinitis: Some users may experience a stuffy nose.
    • Dermatitis: Skin irritation in the form of blisters, dry, cracked skin, itching, rash, or redness and swelling was reported in 1% to 5% of users.
      These mild side effects generally subside within a few days to a couple of weeks. If these side effects persist, discuss it with your doctor.

    Serious Side Effects:
    Serious side effects from Azopt are rare but can occur. If you experience any of these serious side effects, you should immediately seek medical help.

    • Allergic Reaction: Although uncommon, less than 1% of Azopt users may experience an allergic reaction. Mild symptoms may include skin rash, itching, and skin flushing. Severe reactions could manifest as swelling of the eyelids, lips, hands, or feet, swelling of the tongue, mouth, or throat, difficulty breathing, severe skin reactions (Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis), sudden liver failure, or certain blood disorders like aplastic anemia.
  4. What should I do if I forget to take a dose of Azopt?

    If you happen to miss a dose of Azopt, take it when you remember, unless your next scheduled dose is approaching. In the latter case, simply skip the missed dose and stick to your regular dosing schedule. It’s important not to take two doses of Azopt simultaneously, as doing so could raise the likelihood of experiencing side effects associated with the medication.

  5. Is it necessary to use Azopt for an extended period?

    Azopt is generally prescribed for long-term use if both you and your doctor find it to be safe and effective for your condition.

  6. Is Azopt suitable for children?

    Azopt is not approved for the treatment of elevated eye pressure in children. A study involving 32 children, aged 4 weeks to 5 years, found that Azopt was not effective in lowering intraocular pressure in pediatric patients.

  7. Is Azopt classified as a beta-blocker?

    No, Azopt is not classified as a beta-blocker. Beta-blockers belong to a category of medications used to address various conditions such as heart failure, high blood pressure, and elevated eye pressure in glaucoma treatment. They function by slowing down heart rate, which alleviates stress on the cardiovascular system, ultimately leading to reduced blood pressure and eye pressure.

    Azopt, conversely, falls under the category of carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Its primary mechanism of action involves diminishing intraocular pressure by decreasing the production of natural eye fluids. It is essential to note that while Azopt is not a beta-blocker, beta-blocker eye drops can be employed to manage elevated eye pressure.

  8. Is it safe to use Azopt eye drops while wearing contact lenses?

    Yes, it is safe to use Azopt eye drops while wearing contact lenses. However, you should remove your contact lenses before applying Azopt drops to your eyes. Soft contact lenses can absorb some of the ingredients in Azopt, so it’s important to take them out before using the medication. If you wear hard contact lenses, it’s advisable to consult your doctor regarding their use during Azopt treatment.

    After applying Azopt eye drops, wait at least 15 minutes before reinserting your contact lenses. This waiting period allows the medication to take effect without interference from the contacts, ensuring the best results.

  9. Is it safe to use Azopt along with other eye drops?

    Yes, with the approval of your healthcare provider, it is permissible to use Azopt alongside other eye drops. However, it is essential to observe a minimum 10-minute interval between the applications of each product. Using multiple medications simultaneously in your eye can hinder their effectiveness. Always consult your doctor before combining any eye treatments.

  10. Is Azopt suitable for dogs?

    Yes, Azopt can be used in the treatment of dogs. There is a study that demonstrates the effectiveness of brinzolamide (the active ingredient in Azopt) in reducing elevated eye pressure in dogs. If you have concerns about treating increased eye pressure in your dog, it is advisable to consult with your veterinarian. They can guide appropriate treatment options for your dog’s specific condition.

  11. How to store Azopt?

    Azopt should be stored within a temperature range of 4°C to 30°C (39°F to 86°F). It is important to avoid storing this medication in areas prone to moisture or wetness, such as bathrooms, to ensure its optimal shelf life and effectiveness.

  12. Is it safe to consume alcohol while taking Azopt?

    There are no known interactions between Azopt and alcohol. However, it’s important to note that regular alcohol consumption may potentially lead to elevated eye pressure, which contradicts the purpose of Azopt, as it is used to treat increased eye pressure in adults with specific conditions. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider about your alcohol consumption habits if you are using Azopt.

  13. How should I use Azopt?

    Your doctor or pharmacist will provide instructions on the proper use of Azopt eye drops. You should follow their guidance carefully.
    Steps to use Azopt Eye Drops:

    • Shake the Bottle: Before using Azopt eye drops, shake the dropper bottle well to ensure the medication is properly mixed.
    • Remove Contact Lenses: If you wear contact lenses, remove them before applying Azopt to your eyes. You can reinsert your contact lenses approximately 15 minutes after using Azopt.
    • Avoid Touching Surfaces: Be cautious not to touch the tip of the Azopt bottle to any surfaces, including your eye and the surrounding area. This precaution is essential to prevent contamination and reduce the risk of eye infections.
    • Replace the Cap: Immediately after using Azopt, securely place the bottle’s cap back on to maintain the sterility of the medication.

    By following these steps and your healthcare professional’s advice, you can safely and effectively administer Azopt eye drops.

  14. When should I use Azopt eye drops for treating elevated eye pressure?

    The recommended Azopt dosage for managing increased eye pressure is one drop in the affected eye (or eyes) three times daily.
    It might be convenient to synchronize your Azopt eye drop usage with your regular meal schedule. For instance, you can administer the medication during your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

  15. How much time does Azopt take to show its effect?

    Azopt starts working immediately upon application as a drop in the eye. However, its effects may not be immediately noticeable or perceptible. Azopt does not provide instant relief or reverse existing elevated eye pressure. Instead, it gradually lowers intraocular pressure over time, serving as a preventative measure to help maintain and protect your vision.

  16. References

    Azopt [package insert]. Fort Worth, TX: Alcon Laboratories Inc.; 2015.

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Azopt [package insert]. Fort Worth, TX: Alcon Laboratories Inc.; 2015.

Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS is a practicing clinical pharmacist that works in primary care. He supports other members of the healthcare team including physicians, mid-level providers, nurses, and other clinical staff. He also likes to use his drug knowledge to inform his patients and the public about the benefits and risks they can expect from their medications. His clinical specialties include: anticoagulation, diabetes management, and psychiatric care.
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