Azopt is indicated to decrease elevated intraocular pressure in:

  • ocular hypertension
  • open-angle glaucoma
  • as monotherapy in adult patients unresponsive to beta-blockers or in adult patients in whom beta-blockers are contraindicated, or as adjunctive therapy to beta-blockers or prostaglandin analogues

What is it used for?

  • Raised pressure within the eye (ocular hypertension).
  • Open angle glaucoma.
  • Azopt eye drops can be used when an inidividual has not responded to treatment with beta-blocker eye drops or cannot use beta-blocker eye drops. They can also be used in together with other eye drops, such as Betagan or Xalatan.

How does it work?

  • Azopt eye drops contain the active ingredient brinzolamide, which belongs to a group of medicines called carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. They are used to treat eye disorders, such as glaucoma, which cause an increase in pressure within the eye.
  • Carbonic anhydrase is a chemical in the body that is responsible for the production and breakdown of carbonic acid. Part of this reaction results in the production of bicarbonate. Brinzolamide inhibits the action of carbonic anhydrase and thereby decreases the production of bicarbonate.
Bicarbonate is required for the production of the fluid (aqueous humour)that fills the back of the eye.
  • The eye has two fluid-filled spaces, and if too much fluid is produced (or not enough is allowed to drain away) this can lead to an increase in intraocular pressure) within the eye. Such increases in pressure can damage the eye leading to loss of sight.
  • By decreasing the production of bicarbonate, brinzolamide decreases the amount of aqueous humour produced in the eye. This helps reduce the pressure caused by the fluid within the eye in conditions such as glaucoma.
  • Azopt eye drops can be used either on their own or in conjunction with beta-blocker eye drops, such as Betagan or prostaglandin analogue eye drops, such as Xalatan.
  • Use with caution in

    • Closed angle glaucoma.
    • Glaucoma caused by accumulation of pigment particles in the drainage channels of the eye (pigmentary glaucoma).
    • Glaucoma caused as a result of a disorder of part of the eyeball called the ciliary body (pseudoexfoliative glaucoma).
    • Diabetes.
    • Contact lens wearers.
    • Dry eyes.
    • People with conditions that may affect the front layer of the eye (cornea).

    Not to be used in

    • Allergy to medicines from the sulphonamide group, eg the antibiotic sulphamethoxazole.
    • High levels of chloride in the blood, resulting in high acid levels in the blood (hyperchloraemic acidosis).
    • People with severely decreased kidney function.
    • People with decreased liver function.
    • Children under 18 years old.

    This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.

    If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

    Pregnancy and breastfeeding

    • Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
    • The safety of this medicine during pregnancy has not been established. It should not be during pregnancy unless considered essential by your doctor, as it may be absorbed into the bloodstream and could be harmful to the unborn baby. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
    • It is not known if brinzolamide passes into breast milk after application to the eye. These eye drops should not be used by breastfeeding mothers. Seek medical advice from your doctor.

    Side effects

    Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individuals in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

    Common (affects between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)

    • Inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis).
    • Dry eyes.
    • Eye itching.
    • Blurred vision.
    • Eye stinging or burning.
    • Sensation of something being in the eye.
    • Discharge from the eye.
    • Headache.
    • Abnormal taste.
    • Dry mouth.

    Uncommon (affects between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people)

    • Inflammation of the surface of the eye (keratitis).
    • Inflammation of the membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids and outside of the eyeball, causing redness and discharge (conjunctivitis).
    • Eyelid swelling, redness or itching.
    • Corneal erosion.
    • Dislike of light (photophobia).
    • Slow heart rate (bradycardia).
    • Irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation).
    • Decrease in the number of red blood cells in the blood (anaemia).
    • Sleepiness.
    • Disturbances of the gut, such as diarrhoea, nausea, upper abdominal pain, flatulence.
    • Itchy rash (urticaria).
    • Nasal inflammation or dryness.
    • Feeling weak or fatigued.

    The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

    For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

    How can this medicine affect other medicines?

    You should tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already using, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new medicines while using this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.

    The brinzolamide in these eye drops could be absorbed into the bloodstream in low amounts after application to the eye and could therefore interact with other medicines that you are taking by mouth, injection, skin patch or suppository.

    If you are using more than one type of eye drop you should administer them at least five minutes apart, to prevent the second drop washing away the first. Use eye gels or ointments last.

    Using brinzolamide eye drops with oral carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (eg acetazolamide) may increase the likelihood of side effects, therefore, this is not recommended by the manufacturer.

    The following medicines may prevent the breakdown of brinzolamide in the body, thus increasing the risk of side effects:

    • clotrimazole
    • itraconazole
    • ketoconazole
    • ritonavir.



    Health Reference: Glaucoma