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Drug Profile

The information on this site is intended to supplement and enhance, not replace, the advice of a physician who is familiar with your medical history. Decisions about your health should always be made ONLY after detailed conversation with your doctor.

Generic drug name: latanoprost (la TA noe prost)
Brand name(s): XALATAN
GENERIC: not available FAMILY: Drugs for Glaucoma
Find the drug label by searching at DailyMed.

Pregnancy and Breast-feeding Warnings [top]

Pregnancy Warning

Latanoprost caused fetal death in animal studies. Because of the potential for serious adverse effects to the fetus, this drug should not be used by pregnant women.

Breast-feeding Warning

No information is available from either human or animal studies. Since it is likely that this drug, like many others, is excreted in human milk, you should consult with your doctor if you are planning to nurse.

Facts About This Drug [top]

Latanoprost (XALATAN) is a drug that helps lower the pressure inside the eye to treat glaucoma. It works by decreasing the production of fluid in the eye and by increasing the flow of fluids out of the eye.

Clinical studies suggest that latanoprost is more effective at lowering eye pressure than timolol (TIMOPTIC), a beta-blocker eye drop,[1] and as effective as the combination of dorzolamide plus timolol (COSOPT).[2]

Additionally, latanoprost does not share timolol’s ability to...

Latanoprost (XALATAN) is a drug that helps lower the pressure inside the eye to treat glaucoma. It works by decreasing the production of fluid in the eye and by increasing the flow of fluids out of the eye.

Clinical studies suggest that latanoprost is more effective at lowering eye pressure than timolol (TIMOPTIC), a beta-blocker eye drop,[1] and as effective as the combination of dorzolamide plus timolol (COSOPT).[2]

Additionally, latanoprost does not share timolol’s ability to aggravate lung disorders such as asthma. However, latanoprost does have several unique side effects, whose clinical significance are not clearly understood.

Latanoprost has been shown to darken the iris, eyelashes and skin around the eyes and to cause lengthening and thickening of the eyelashes.[3],[4],[1]

Iris color changes occur in 11 to 23% of patients, and seem to happen more frequently in patients with brown-green or yellow-brown eyes.[5]

The clinical significance and long-term consequence of this color change are unknown. Latanoprost is also associated with changes to the surface of the eye.[6],[7]

A case report of latanoprost-associated chest pain has been reported in the medical literature,[8] and a similar event was reported in a latanoprost clinical trial.[7]

There have been reports of macular oedema associated with the use of latanoprost. Macular oedema (edema) is a thickening and swelling of the macula (the central portion of the retina) of the eye, caused when fluid collects on or under the macula, which can lead to blurred or distorted vision.[9]

Before You Use This Drug [top]

Do not use this drug if you have or have had:

  • allergy to latanoprost
  • allergy to benzalkonium chloride, a preservative used in eye drops and contact lens solutions

Tell your doctor if you have or have had:

  • eye lens removed or replaced with a prosthetic lens
  • liver disease
  • inflammation of the eye
  • kidney disease
  • macular edema
  • migraine
  • pregnancy or are breast-feeding

Tell your doctor about any other drugs you take, including aspirin, herbs, vitamins, and other nonprescription products.

When You Use This Drug [top]

  • Take note of any changes in eye, eyelash, or eyelid skin color. This change may be permanent. Also, these changes affect only the eye under treatment, so special care is needed if you are using this drug in only one eye.
  • This drug may cause your eyes to be more sensitive to bright light. You may need to wear sunglasses and avoid intense lights.
  • This drug will precipitate into its solid form if it comes into contact with thimerosal, which is contained in many eye-drop and contact lens solutions. Five minutes should pass between application of this drug and any of these products.
  • Have regular visits with your doctor to check eye pressure.

How to Use This Drug [top]

  • Prevent the container from becoming contaminated. Avoid letting the tip of the container touch your eye, hands, or any other object.
  • Contact lenses should be removed prior to administration of this drug. This drug may be absorbed by soft contact lenses. Wait at least 15 minutes after using this drug before putting in contact lenses.
  • Store in refrigerator until opened. Then store at room temperature for up to six weeks before discarding. Do not expose to heat or direct light.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, but skip it if it is almost time for the next dose. Do not take double doses.
  • Do not share your medication with others.
  • Take the drug at the same time(s) each day.
  • Keep out of reach of children.

Interactions with Other Drugs [top]

The following drugs, biologics (e.g., vaccines, therapeutic antibodies), or foods are listed in Evaluations of Drug Interactions 2003 as causing “highly clinically significant” or “clinically significant” interactions when used together with any of the drugs in this section. In some sections with multiple drugs, the interaction may have been reported for one but not all drugs in this section, but we include the interaction because the drugs in this section are similar to one another. We have also included potentially serious interactions listed in the drug’s FDA-approved professional package insert or in published medical journal articles. There may be other drugs, especially those in the families of drugs listed below, that also will react with this drug to cause severe adverse effects. Make sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist the drugs you are taking and tell them if you are taking any of these interacting drugs:

thimerosal-containing eye medications or contact lens solutions.

Adverse Effects [top]

In addition to causing darkening of the iris, eyelashes, and skin around the eyes and lengthening and thickening of the eyelashes, latanoprost can be absorbed into the blood through the eye, although much less than other eye drops. Therefore, use of this drug may have some adverse effects beyond the eye.

Call your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • blurred vision, eye irritation, or tearing
  • darkening of eyelid skin color
  • discharge from eye
  • double vision
  • eye pain
  • eyelid crusting, redness, swelling, discomfort, or pain
  • fever
  • increase in brown color in colored part of eye
  • longer, thicker, and darker eyelashes
  • muscle, joint, or back pain
  • noisy breathing
  • redness of eye or inside eyelid
  • sensitivity of eye to light
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash
  • sore throat
  • swelling of eye
  • tightness in chest
  • wheezing

Call your doctor if these symptoms continue:

  • dryness of eye
  • stinging of eye
  • increased sensitivity to light
  • itching of eye
  • redness of eye or inside of eyelid
  • sensation of something in the eye
  • tearing

Periodic Tests[top]

Ask your doctor if this test should be done periodically while you are taking this drug:

  • eye exams

last reviewed January 31, 2021