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Eye Drop Shortage Concerns Glaucoma Patients

Posted at 10:36 PM, Mar 09, 2018

A nationwide shortage of a special kind of eye drop to treat glaucoma has hit close to home for one Franklin teenager.

On January 24, the Food and Drug Administration placed Dorzolamide Hydrochloride and Timolol Maleate (Cosopt) Ophthalmic Solution on its FDA Drug Shortage list.

The manufacturer said it may not have it available until June because a certain substance used to make Cosopt has run low.

Jacob Cuomo, 18, was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma at one month old. He has been without the eye drops for about a week after running out of his prescription.

He said he's starting to feel more pressure around his eyes daily and concerned about the possibility of going blind.

"You can't stop thinking about it because the medication is what you need. You're so use to having it, it's like what you need and when it changes it ruins the whole cycle," he said.

Jacob takes another eye drop medication, but Cosopt is the one he needs more. 

He attends Centennial High School and said juggling Advanced Placement and honor classes, plus managing a computer science club, causes a lot of strain on his eyes. He is also a member of the Junior ROTC program.

"I just make sure that I stay in contact with everybody so they know what's wrong with me. Communication is key to make sure that everything runs smoothly," he said. "When you don't take your eye drops say like for a week like it has been for me, you'll start to feel your eyes start to get bigger. When you lose your vision that's when you really start to wonder like okay, things are starting to change now."

Jacob's mother, Christine, said she's called pharmacies around Middle Tennessee to see if they have Cosopt.

"I'm just hoping that we can get the drop for him or some alternative or something for him," Christine said.

The family said they hope Jacob's doctor can give them the 'OK' to receive an important ingredient used in Cosopt soon. 

The FDA lists Cosopt-PF, an alternative, as available.