Remember to use the drops every day.
Store your bottles of latanoprost drops in a fridge before you open them. Once you've opened a bottle, you can keep it out of the fridge (but still in a cool place) and use it for up to four weeks. Use a new bottle after this time, even if there is still some solution remaining.
The drops may alter the colour of your eyes after a time, and cause your eyelashes to grow darker and thicker.
About latanoprost eye drops
|Type of medicine||Prostaglandin analogue|
|Used for||To reduce raised pressure within your eye|
Xalacom® (a combination of latanoprost with timolol)
|Available as||Eye drops|
A raised pressure within your eye can lead to damage to the optic nerve at the back of your eye. When this occurs it is called glaucoma. Glaucoma can lead to a loss of vision if it is not treated. If you have an increased pressure within your eye but without any damage to the optic nerve, this is called ocular hypertension. People with ocular hypertension have an increased risk of later developing glaucoma. Treatment with eye drops such as latanoprost helps to reduce eye pressure in people with ocular hypertension, and to prevent further eye damage in people with glaucoma. Latanoprost drops work by increasing the amount of fluid that drains out of your eye, which reduces the pressure.
Sometimes, more than one type of eye drop is needed to keep the pressure in the eye low. If this is the case for you, you may be asked to use two different eye drops, or you may be given drops which combine more than one type. Latanoprost is available as a combination eye drop with a beta-blocker called timolol.
Before using latanoprost eye drops
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start using latanoprost it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have had surgery on your eye to replace or remove the lens (such as cataract removal).
- If you have ever had a viral infection in your eye (such as herpes simplex).
- If you wear contact lenses or use other eye drops.
- If you have breathing problems.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine or another eye drop.
How to use latanoprost eye drops
- Wash your hands before you use the drops.
- Remove the cap.
- Tilt your head back a little and pull the lower lid of your eye out to form a pocket.
- Hold the bottle upside down near to your eye.
- Apply enough pressure to the bottle to release one drop into your eye. Try not to touch your eye as you do this. (Do not use more than one drop - using several drops does not improve your glaucoma but will increase the risk of side-effects).
- Close your eye for a minute or two, and press gently on the side of your nose where the corner of your eye meets your nose. This helps to stop the drop from draining away and keeps it in your eye.
- Repeat the process in your other eye if you have been told to use the drops in both eyes.
- Replace the cap.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Before you start using these eye drops, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the eye drops and a full list of possible side-effects from using them.
- Use one drop in the eye (or eyes) affected, once a day. Your doctor may recommend you use the drops in the evening.
- Remember to use the drops every day. If you do forget, do not double up on the next day to make up for a missed dose.
- Take care not to touch the tip of the dropper with your eye, fingers, or any other surface. This is to prevent the drops from becoming contaminated.
- If you are using any other eye drops, leave 5-10 minutes between using the other drops.
- When first put in, eye drops may sometimes cause blurred vision. If this happens it should quickly clear, but make sure you can see clearly before you drive or use tools or machines.
- Do not wear soft contact lenses unless your doctor has advised you otherwise. This is because bottles of eye drops contain preservatives which can affect soft contact lenses.
- Keep your regular appointments with your doctor so that your progress can be checked.
- If you are having an operation or any medical treatment, remember to tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are using these eye drops.
Can latanoprost eye drops cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Very common latanoprost side-effects - these are likely to affect more than 1 in 10 people who use these drops
||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Irritation or redness in your eye, longer or thicker eyelashes, darker skin on your eyelids||Many people using these drops notice these changes - discuss them with your doctor if you are concerned|
|Changes in the colour of the iris of your eyes (this may be permanent)||Discuss this with your doctor if you are concerned about it|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to these eye drops, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store latanoprost eye drops
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store the bottle in a refrigerator before opening it. Once the bottle has been opened, you can keep the drops out of the fridge (but still in a cool place) for up to four weeks.
- Eye drops can be used for four weeks once the bottle has been opened. After this time use a new bottle, even if there is still some solution remaining.
Important information about all medicines
If you buy any medicines check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
This preparation is for use in eyes only. If someone swallows some of it, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Xalatan® 0.005% eye drops solution; Pfizer Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated October 2012.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Xalacom® eye drop, solution; Pfizer Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated July 2012.
- British National Formulary; 64th Edition (Sep 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Hannah Gronow|
|Last Checked: 10/12/2012||Document ID: 3774 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.