For the first time in 25 years, a new drug was approved last fall for the treatment of glaucoma. "It works almost like magic," says Thom Zimmerman, MD, of the Department of Ophthalmology, Louisiana State University, New Orleans.
Timolol maleate was released as a topical ocular hypotensive agent in September by the Food and Drug Administration. Extensive studies and clinical tests, Zimmerman told a recent meeting of the International Glaucoma Congress (III) in Las Vegas, have proved that the drug is extremely effective against open angle glaucoma, the most common form of the disease. In addition, there are few side effects so far, thus eliminating the compliance problems so common with the use of other glaucoma medications.
"It doesn't change pupil size, vision, or accommodation," Zimmerman says. "What it does is decrease the formation of aqueous humor. This is just the opposite of other glaucoma medications that enhance the outflow