Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAIs) are used as systemic and topical agents for lowering intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with glaucoma. Owing to the wide distribution of CAs and their physiological functions in various tissues, systemic administration of CAIs may lead to unwanted side effects. Thus, exploration of drugs targeting the specific CA isoenzyme in ocular tissues and application of the same as topical eye drops would be desirable. However, the anatomical and physiological barriers of the eyes can limit drug availability at the site. The very low aqueous solubility of CAI agents can further hamper drug bioavailability, consequently resulting in insufficient therapeutic efficacy. Solubilization of drugs using cyclodextrin (CD) complexes can enhance both solubility and permeability of the drugs. The use of CD for such purposes and development and testing of topical CAI eye drops containing CD have been discussed in detail. Further, pharmaceutical nanotechnology platforms were discussed in terms of investigation of their IOP-lowering efficacies. Future prospects in drug discovery and the use of CD nanoparticles and CD-based nanocarriers to develop potential topical CAI formulations have also been described here.
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