Help! Pfizer is discontinuing the glaucoma medication echothiophate iodide. It is the only one that works for me.
Entering edit mode
6 weeks ago

From a member of a glaucoma support group who asked for help spreading the word on this:

Hello, my now-adult son is reliant on echothiophate iodide to control his aphakic glaucoma. Pfizer is discontinuing, and there is no other manufacturer for it or any alternative drug with the same mechanism of action.

Pfizer's decision to discontinue the only medication that controls my son's aphakic glaucoma has been devastating beyond words.

My son’s ophthalmologist is a super specialist in pediatric glaucoma. Secondary Aphakic glaucoma poses unique challenges. it’s a very different kind of glaucoma.

Most glaucoma drops work by either reducing aqueous production, or increasing drainage. In contrast, echothiophate Iodide works mechanically on the trabecular meshwork. I believe that Pilocarpine is similar, though my son’s ophthalmologist believes it has drawbacks beyond the fact that it must be used 4 times per day.

When I say that “no other medication” works for for my son….. he is on CoSopt, which as you are probably aware is a combo medication that both decreases aqueous production and increases outflow. My son’s doctor has added many other additional meds over the years that also work the same way— additively. But it was never enough. His pressures stayed over 20— up to 30+, until the use of echothiophate iodide.

My son’s doctor, and a small group of other pediatric glaucoma specialists, have looked worldwide for this medication, and they have been unable to find it.

medications glaucoma echothiophate-iodide • 93 views
Entering edit mode
6 weeks ago
david 2.5k

Answer supplied by Hank:

Hi all. I'm an OHTN patient with a family history of glaucoma. I was active in online glaucoma support groups many years ago. 

I found out that a compounding pharmacy in NY can provide echothiophate iodide, which is known commercially as phospholine iodide (PI).

The same compounding pharmacy also provides Carbachol, which may be the best alternative if taken 3 times a day. I used 3% Carbachol in combo with Azopt for about a month the last time echothiophate iodide was unavailable and that seemed to work. But nothing beats echothiophate iodide!

That said, Alcon has stopped making Carbachol, except for the injectable preparation which is much too weak for external use. This is why the discontinuation of echothiophate iodide is such a problem.

This pharmacy should be able to help:

Westchester Compounding Pharmacy. Their number is 914-200-1222 and email is [].

Please spread the word because this is not a well-known source. They say they get the dry echothiophate iodide from the same source as Pfizer and have been making the mixed solution for years. Let's hope they keep doing it!

Hope this helps,

Entering edit mode
6 weeks ago

Good news: Westchester Compounding Pharmacy in NY has ordered enough of the active ingredient to make about 1,000 bottles of echothiophate iodide solution. For those who'd like to read more about this drug, here's a study from 2004 that shows why it's an essential medication for some folks:

Echothiophate iodide for uncontrolled glaucoma in aphakia and pseudophakia

As you can see, since at least 2004, the primary supplier has been trying to take this drug off the market. Shame on them but they are not the only game in town.

Many thanks to those who started the petition to get Pfizer to keep their version on the market, and to the reporter in CT who publicized it! This is how the pharmacy became aware of the need, and was able to make themselves known. I am not affiliated with them, but I believe they are legitimate based on conversations I've had with them. I'm asking my ophthalmologist to order me a bottle this week.

Westchester Compounding Pharmacy can be reached at 914-200-1222 website:


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