Generic name: Dorzolamide hydrochloride, Timolol maleateBrand names: Cosopt
Cosopt lowers high pressure in the eye, a problem typically caused by the condition known as open-angle glaucoma. Cosopt works by reducing production of the liquid that fills the eyeball.
Although it often causes no symptoms at first, high pressure in the eye will eventually damage the optic nerve and lead to blindness. It's therefore very important to keep using this medicine even if your eyes seem okay.
Cosopt is administered with an eyedropper bottle. If you are using other eyedrops or ointments, allow at least 10 minutes between doses of each product.
The benzalkonium chloride used as a preservative in Cosopt can be absorbed by soft contact lenses; wait 15 minutes after using the drug before you insert the lenses.
To apply the drops, first wash your hands, then tilt your head back and pull your lower eyelid down slightly to form a pocket between the lid and the eye. Turn the bottle upside down and press the "Finger Push Area" lightly with your thumb or index finger until one drop falls into the eye. Be careful to avoid touching the eyelids with the dropper tip. This could contaminate the solution.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe to continue using Cosopt.
You should not take Cosopt if you've ever had asthma, suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or have heart failure or certain types of rhythm problems. The drug cannot be used if you are suffering from shock. You'll also need to avoid it if it causes an allergic reaction.
Although Cosopt is an eyedrop, the medications it contains affect the entire body. In rare cases, the timolol in Cosopt has caused fatal asthma attacks and heart failure. The dorzolamide it contains has been known to cause fatal allergic reactions. If you develop hives, blisters, swollen eyelids, inflamed eyes, or any other sign of an allergic reaction, stop using Cosopt and check with your doctor immediately.
If you are planning to have surgery, make sure the doctor knows you are using Cosopt. Your dose may be gradually lowered in preparation for the operation. Also alert the doctor immediately if you sustain an eye injury or infection.
Use Cosopt with caution if you have diabetes or a thyroid condition. It can mask some of the signs of these disorders. Caution is also warranted if you have myasthenia gravis; in rare cases, Cosopt may increase muscle weakness.
If you have severe kidney disease, make sure the doctor knows about it. Cosopt is not recommended under these circumstances.
If Cosopt is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Cosopt with the following:Certain water pills (diuretics) such as dichlorphenamideClonidineDigitalisDrugs classified as beta blockers, such as the high blood pressure medications acebutolol atenolol, and propranolol,Drugs classified as calcium channel blockers, such as the heart medications amlodipine, diltiazem, and nifedipineEpinephrineQuinidineReserpineSalicylate medications such as salsalate and aspirin
The effects of Cosopt during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Cosopt should be used during pregnancy only if its benefits outweigh the potential risk to the developing baby.
The timolol component of Cosopt does appear in breast milk, and can cause serious reactions in nursing infants. If you are nursing, use of Cosopt is not recommended.
The usual dose is 1 drop in the affected eye(s) 2 times a day.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.