Glaucoma is a disease characterized by increased eye pressure. Just like many parts of our body, the eye requires a specific internal pressure to function properly. The eye is a closed system with structures that create and drain fluid. If too much fluid is produced, or not enough is drained, the pressure can increase. This increase in pressure can negatively affect how nutrients reach the eye, which can lead to progressive vision loss over time. Glaucoma is treated with eye drops. These eye drops are specifically formulated to either decrease fluid entering the eye, or increase its outflow.
Read more in of blog about Glaucoma here
Latanoprost, also branded as Xalatan, is a commonly used first line treatment for glaucoma. Introduced in 1996 and made generic in 2011, latanoprost falls into a drug category known as prostaglandin analogues, abbreviated as PGAs. PGAs work by increasing the outflow of fluid from the eye, thus decreasing eye pressure. PGAs are designed to be dosed in the evening. Our eye pressure naturally changes throughout the day, and is usually highest overnight. By using PGAs before bedtime, it helps keep the eye pressure lower, as well as more stable, for up to 24 hours.
Common side effects of latanoprost include:
- Darkening of eye color
- Increased eye lash growth
The most common of these being stinging and redness, which usually subside over time. Changes in eye color and lash growth occur slowly, and are rarely a reason for concern. In fact, most patients enjoy the side effect of increased lash growth. See our blog on Latisse, to learn more about this “convenient” side effect. Depending on your specific eye health and/or conditions, latanoprost may not be right for you. If you have more questions about this or other glaucoma medications, talk to you doctor. For more information, see the links below.