Dr. Karl Pappa, a glaucoma specialist, joins Dr. Suh on this episode to discuss all aspects of glaucoma medications. Glaucoma, a disease of the optic nerve, is thought to be worsened by increased eye pressure. The goal of treatment, whether it be with eye drops, laser or surgery, is to lower the intraocular pressure (IOP).
Categories of Glaucoma Medications
Combination eye drops help with compliance and may be more economical. Examples include Cosopt (timolol/dorzolamide), Combigan (timolol/brimonidine), Simbrinza (brimonidine/brinzolamide), and Rocklatan (netarsudil/latanoprost).
One reason patients have decreased compliance is because they can get ocular surface irritation and dry eyes from repeated use of drops that contain preservatives such as benzalkonium chloride (BAK). Several preservative-free options include Zioptan, Cosopt PF, and Timoptic in Ocudose.
Several new drug delivery alternatives are being studied. The FDA recently approved Durysta (bimatoprost), a biodegradable sustained-release implant that is injected into the eye between the cornea and the iris. Obviously, compliance will not be an issue with this medicated implant but it will have to be replaced every few months.
After instilling a glaucoma drop into your eye, close your eyes for up to five minutes to maximize absorption into the eyes and minimize systemic absorption to avoid some of the side effects.
Here is another resource about glaucoma drops.
This is intended for informational and educational purposes only, and nothing in this podcast/blog is to be considered as recommending or rendering medical advice or treatment to a specific patient. Please consult your eye care specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment of any eye conditions that you may have.