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August 1995

A Topical Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitor Finally Arrives

Author Affiliations

Miami, Fla

Arch Ophthalmol. 1995;113(8):985-986. doi:10.1001/archopht.1995.01100080035025

In this issue of the Archives, Strahlman and associates1 report a 1-year study of the safety profile and efficacy of a topical carbonic anhydrase inhibitor (CAI), dorzolamide hydrochloride (Trusopt), as either primary or supplemental therapy for primary open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension. This is the first topical CAI to show sufficient efficacy for clinical use and that appears to nearly match the pressure-lowering of oral CAIs without having their systemic side effects. Having advanced to Food and Drug Administration phase 3 trials, it was approved early this year2 and marketed in June.

The quest to develop a topically active CAI has taken a long time, generating apt comparisons to the biblical 40-year journey in the wilderness needed to reach the promised land. This journey also was circuitous and skeptics wondered if it would be completed.

The rationale for the development of a topically active CAI was to eliminate