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All about: Xalatan Ophthalmic

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Xalatan

Category

  • Antiglaucoma agent (ophthalmic)
  • antihypertensive, ocular

Description

Latanoprost (la-TA-noe-prost) is used to treat certain kinds of glaucoma. It is also used to treat a condition called hypertension of the eye. Latanoprost appears to work by increasing the outflow of fluid from the eye. This lowers the pressure in the eye.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form(s):

  • Ophthalmic
  • Ophthalmic solution (eye drops) (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For latanoprost, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to latanoprost. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as benzalkonium chloride or other preservatives.

Pregnancy—Latanoprost has not been studied in pregnant women. However, latanoprost has been shown to cause death of the fetus when given to pregnant rabbits in doses many times larger than the human dose. Before using this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding—It is not known whether latanoprost passes into the breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are using this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children—Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of latanoprost in children with use in other age groups.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of latanoprost in the elderly with use in other age groups, this medicine has been used mostly in elderly patients and is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are using latanoprost, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Thimerosal-containing ophthalmic medications—A precipitation occurs (a solid settles out of the solution) when latanoprost is applied at the same time as a thimerosal-containing ophthalmic medicine; you should wait at least 5 minutes between using these two types of eye drops

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of latanoprost. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Eye disease, such as iritis or uveitis—Use of latanoprost may make the condition worse
  • Eye problems, such as loss of the lens of the eye or
  • Intraocular lens (IOL) replacement—May be more prone to an adverse reaction called macular edema
  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease—Higher blood levels of latanoprost may result, which may lead to increased side effects

Proper Use of This Medicine

Use this medicine only as directed . Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of too much medicine being absorbed into the body and the chance of side effects.

If your doctor ordered two different eye drops to be used together, wait at least 5 minutes between the times you apply the medicines. This will help to keep the second medicine from “washing out” the first one.

It is important that your doctor check your eye pressure at regular visits to make certain that your glaucoma is being controlled.

Contact lenses should be removed before you use this medicine. You should wait at least 15 minutes after using the eye drops before reinserting them.

To use the eye drops :

  • First, wash your hands. Tilt the head back and, pressing your finger gently on the skin just beneath the lower eyelid, pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to make a space. Drop the medicine into this space. Let go of the eyelid and gently close the eyes. Do not blink. Keep the eyes closed and apply pressure to the inner corner of the eye with your finger for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medicine to be absorbed by the eye.
  • Immediately after using the eye drops, wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them.
  • To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface (including the eye). Also, keep the container tightly closed.

Dosing—The dose of latanoprost will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average dose of latanoprost. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For ophthalmic solution (eye drops) dosage form:
    • For glaucoma or hypertension of the eye:
      • Adults—Use one drop in the affected eye(s) once a day in the evening.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, use it as soon as possible. However, if you do not remember the missed dose until the next day, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Before the bottle has been opened for the first time, store in the refrigerator. After the bottle has been opened, store at room temperature (up to 25 °C [77 °F]) for up to 6 weeks, or in the refrigerator. However, keep the medicine from freezing.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

While you are using latanoprost, the iris (colored part) of your treated eye(s) may slowly become more brown in color . This is more likely to happen if you have blue-brown, gray-brown, green-brown, or yellow-brown eyes. The change in color of the iris is noticeable usually within several months or years from the start of treatment with latanoprost. In addition, there may be a darkening of eyelid skin color. Also, your eyelashes may become longer, thicker, and darker. These changes to the iris, eyelid, and lashes may be permanent even if you stop using latanoprost. Also, these changes to the iris, eyelid, and lashes will affect only the eye being treated with latanoprost. Therefore, if only one eye is being treated, only that eye may develop darker iris, eyelid, and eyelashes and other changes to the eyelashes, and you may have differently appearing eyes . Check with your doctor if you have any questions about this.

Latanoprost may cause your eyes to become more sensitive to light than they are normally. Wearing sunglasses and avoiding too much exposure to bright light may help lessen the discomfort.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

Eyelid crusting, redness, swelling, discomfort, or pain

Rare

Cough; difficulty breathing; noisy breathing; redness of eye or inside of eyelid; shortness of breath; swelling of the eye; tightness in chest; wheezing

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Blurred vision, eye irritation, or tearing; darkening of eyelid skin color; increase in brown color in colored part of eye; longer, thicker, and darker eyelashes

Less common

Angina pectoris or other chest pain; cold or flu symptoms; eye pain; pain in muscles, joints, or back; skin rash

Rare

Discharge from the eye; double vision or other change in vision; fever; sensitivity of eye to light; sore throat

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More common

Burning of eye; feeling of something in eye; itching of eye; stinging of eye

Less common

Dryness of eye

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Developed: 08/12/1998
Revised: 4/18/2000

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