Why is this medication prescribed?
Bimatoprost ophthalmic is used to treat glaucoma (a condition in which increased pressure in the eye can lead to gradual loss of vision) and ocular hypertension (a condition which causes increased pressure in the eye). Bimatoprost is in a class of medications called prostaglandin analogs. It lowers pressure in the eye by increasing the flow of natural eye fluids out of the eye.
How should this medicine be used?
Bimatoprost ophthalmic comes as a solution (liquid) to instill in the eye. It is usually instilled in the affected eye(s) once a day in the evening. Try to use the medication at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use bimatoprost exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Bimatoprost controls glaucoma and ocular hypertension but does not cure them. Continue to use bimatoprost eye drops even if you feel well. Do not stop using bimatoprost eye drops without talking to your doctor.
To instill the eye drops, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Check the dropper tip to make sure that it is not chipped or cracked.
- Avoid touching the dropper tip against your eye or anything else; eye drops and droppers must be kept clean.
- While tilting your head back, pull down the lower lid of your eye with your index finger to form a pocket.
- Hold the dropper (tip down) with the other hand, as close to the eye as possible without touching it.
- Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your face.
- While looking up, gently squeeze the dropper so that a single drop falls into the pocket made by the lower eyelid. Remove your index finger from the lower eyelid.
- Close your eye for 2 to 3 minutes and tip your head down as though looking at the floor. Try not to blink or squeeze your eyelids.
- Place a finger on the tear duct and apply gentle pressure.
- Wipe any excess liquid from your face with a tissue.
- If you are to use more than one drop in the same eye, wait at least 5 minutes before instilling the next drop.
- Replace and tighten the cap on the dropper bottle. Do not wipe or rinse the dropper tip.
- Wash your hands to remove any medication.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using bimatoprost eye drops,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to bimatoprost or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking.
- if you are using another topical eye medication, instill it at least 5 minutes before or after you instill bimatoprost eye drops.
- tell your doctor if you have inflammation (swelling) of the eye or a torn or missing lens and if you have or have ever had liver or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using bimatoprost, call your doctor.
- you should know that bimatoprost solution contains benzalkonium chloride, which can be absorbed by soft contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, remove them before instilling bimatoprost and put them back in 15 minutes later.
- if you have an eye injury, infection, or surgery while using bimatoprost, ask your doctor if you should continue using the same eye drop container.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Instill the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not instill a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Bimatoprost may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- itchy eyes
- dry eyes
- burning eyes
- eye pain or irritation
- eye tearing
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following side effects, call your doctor immediately:
- sensitivity to light
- pink eye
- redness or swelling of the eyelid
Bimatoprost eye drops may change the color of your eye (to brown) and darken the skin around the eye. It may also cause your eyelashes to grow longer and thicker and darken in color. These changes usually occur slowly, but they may be permanent. If you use bimatoprost in only one eye, you should know that there may be a difference between your eyes after taking bimatoprost. Call your doctor if you notice these changes.
Bimatoprost eye drops may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.