Two-component mixtures of dorzolamide hydrochloride and timolol maleate were assayed by first derivative and ratio derivative spactrophotometric methods. The first method, derivative spectrophotometry, by the zero-crossing measurements, was used due to the drugs closely overlapping absorption spectra. Linear calibration graphs of first derivative values at 250.3 nm for dorzolamide hydrochloride and 315.8 nm for timolol maleate. The second method, is based on ratio first derivative spectrophotometry, the amplitudes in the first derivative of the ratio spectra at 242.9 and at 223.5 nm were selected to determine dorzolamide and timolol maleate in the binary mixture. Calibration graphs were established for 8.0-30.0 mug ml(-1) for dorzolamide hydrochloride and 3.0-24.6 mug ml(-1) for timolol maleate in binary mixture. Good linearity, precision and selectivity were found, and the proposed methods were applied successfully to the pharmaceutical dosage from containing the above-mentioned drug combination without any interference by the excipients. Vierordt's method was also developed for a comparison method. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.