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Topical carbonic anhydrase inhibitors are a novel addition to the armamentarium of medical glaucoma treatment; dorzolamide has been available since 1995 and brinzolamide since 1998. They lower intraocular pressure by inhibiting carbonic anhydrase, a key enzyme for aqueous humor formation. Intraocular pressure-lowering activity of the substances appears to be the same and is similar to that of most other agents, but it does not reach the activity of the unselective beta-blocker timolol or the prostaglandin latanoprost. On concomitant treatment, additivity is reached with all other topical agents. A possible improvement of blood flow may offer an additional benefit, but its significance for the long-term outcome for human glaucoma remains to be shown. Side effects are mostly local. A more physiologic pH of brinzolamide appears to be advantageous.


U Herkel, N Pfeiffer. Update on topical carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Current opinion in ophthalmology. 2001 Apr;12(2):88-93

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PMID: 11224713

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