Why is this medication prescribed?
Latanoprost 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). Latanoprost 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?
Latanoprost comes as eye drops. Usually, one drop is applied to the affected eye(s) once a day in the evening. If latanoprost is used with other topical eye medications, allow at least 5 minutes between each medication. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use latanoprost exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Latanoprost controls glaucoma but does not cure it. Continue to use latanoprost even if you feel well. Do not stop using latanoprost without talking to your doctor.
To apply the eye drops, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Use a mirror or have someone else put the drops in your eye.
- Make sure the end of the dropper is not chipped or cracked.
- Avoid touching the dropper against your eye or anything else.
- Hold the dropper tip down at all times to prevent drops from flowing back into the bottle and contaminating the remaining contents.
- Lie down or tilt your head back.
- Holding the bottle between your thumb and index finger, place the dropper as near as possible to your eyelid without touching it.
- Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your cheek or nose.
- With the index finger of your other hand, pull the lower lid of the eye down to form a pocket.
- Drop the prescribed number of drops into the pocket made by the lower lid and the eye. Placing the drops on the surface of the eyeball can cause stinging.
- Close your eye and press lightly against the lower lid with your finger for 2 to 3 minutes to keep the medication in the eye. Do not blink.
- Replace and tighten the cap right away. Do not wipe or rinse it off.
- Wipe off any excess liquid from your cheek with a clean tissue. Wash your hands again.
If you still have symptoms of glaucoma (eye pain or blurred vision) after using this medication for a couple of days, call your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using latanoprost,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to latanoprost or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have inflammation of the eye, 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 latanoprost, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using latanoprost.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Apply 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 apply a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Latanoprost may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stinging, burning, itching, watering, or swelling of the eye
- redness of the eyelids
- dry eyes
Latanoprost may increase the brown pigmentation in your iris, changing your eye color to brown. The pigmentation changes may be more noticeable in patients who already have some brown eye coloring. Latanoprost may also cause your eyelashes to grow longer and thicker and darken in color. These changes usually occurs slowly, but they may be permanent. If you use latanoprost in only one eye, you should know that there may be a difference between your eyes after using latanoprost. Call your doctor if you notice these changes.
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).
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
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.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor will order certain eye tests to check your response to latanoprost.
Remove contact lenses before using latanoprost. You may replace the lenses 15 minutes after applying latanoprost.
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.