Do Dorzolamide Eye Drops Come In A Preservative-Free Form?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses eye drops for glaucoma that are available in preservative-free forms.


Please tell me if the drug, "Dorzolamide HCI Opthalmic Solution 2%" comes in a preservative free form? Thank you!

Asked by Kathy On Nov 07, 2022

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Nov 09, 2022
Last updated Nov 09, 2022

Key points

  • Dorzolamide HCI Opthalmic Solution 2% is not available in a preservative-free form. They all contain benzalkonium chloride.
  • Eye drops indicated to treat glaucoma that are preservative-free include Cosopt PF (dorzolamide; timolol), Zioptan (tafluprost) and Timoptic Ocudose (timolol).


Dorzolamide 2% eye drops, unfortunately, do not come in a preservative-free form. It is manufactured by several different companies, all of which add a preservative.

While the ingredients of all the different dorzolamide eye drops vary slightly, they all contain benzalkonium chloride, an antimicrobial preservative.

Alternative Options

Dorzolamide is a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor used for the treatment of glaucoma.

The only other carbonic anhydrase inhibitor product (that only contains one active ingredient) is Azopt (brinzolamide). That too is only available with preservatives.

Nevertheless, you do have some potential options to talk to your doctor about, which include:

  • Cosopt PF (dorzolamide; timolol)
  • Zioptan (tafluprost)
  • Timoptic Ocudose (timolol)

All of these drugs are available in single use, preservative-free containers.

Cosopt PF (a preservative-free combination of dorzolamide and timolol) would be your most similar option since it already contains dorzolamide and adds on the beta-blocker timolol.

Cosopt PF Image

The other preservative free options are in different drug classes.

Timoptic Ocudose contains timolol as the sole drug and Zioptan is an ophthalmic prostaglandin.

There are many considerations to take into account when determining what the most appropriate course of therapy for an individual treating glaucoma is.

For most individuals, the recommended initial therapy is a prostaglandin, like Zioptan, because they have been shown to be effective at lowering intra-ocular pressure, are well tolerated, can be dosed once daily and have fewer side effects than other options.

Zioptan Eye Drops Package

If you are looking to use only a preservative-free option to treat your glaucoma, talk to your doctor about any of the options above.

Final Words

I hope you found this helpful! Reach back out anytime.


  • Glaucoma: Diagnosis and Management of Chronic Open Angle Glaucoma and Ocular Hypertension, PubMed
  • Mixed treatment comparison and meta-regression of the efficacy and safety of prostaglandin analogues and comparators for primary open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension, PubMed
  • Meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials comparing latanoprost with brimonidine in the treatment of open-angle glaucoma, ocular hypertension or normal-tension glaucoma, PubMed
  • A panel assessment of glaucoma management: modification of existing RAND-like methodology for consensus in ophthalmology. Part II: Results and interpretation, PubMed
  • Zioptan Manufacturer Website, Zioptan
  • Cosopt PF Manufacturer Website, Cosopt PF
  • Timoptic Ocudose Manufacturer Website, Timoptic Ocudose

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 11 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Feel free to send him an email at! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

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