How It Works
Prostaglandin analogs reduce pressure
inside the eye (intraocular pressure, or IOP) by increasing the
removal of fluid (aqueous humor) from the eye.
medicines are given in eyedrop form.
Why It Is Used
Prostaglandin analogs are used to
reduce intraocular pressure in people who have
open-angle glaucoma or high intraocular pressure
(ocular hypertension). They can be used alone or in combination with other
How Well It Works
Prostaglandin analogs are effective in lowering the pressure inside the eye, which lowers
the risk of damage to the optic nerve. These medicines typically lower IOP by 20% to 30%.1
Prostaglandin analogs are the most frequently used medicines for glaucoma treatment.1
Side effects of prostaglandin analogs
- Blurred vision or other decrease in visual
- Dry eyes.
Itching, burning, and stinging after
using the drops.
- Increased coloring of the colored part (iris) of
the eye. This mostly occurs in people with hazel eyes. The change in eye color
may be permanent. Prostaglandin analogs may also cause increased coloring in
the eyelid (darkening of the skin) and darkening and increased growth of the
eyelashes. These changes also may be permanent.
Skin rash or
allergic skin reaction.
- Inflammation in the front part of the eye
- Upper respiratory tract infections, colds, and
The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that there
have been no whole-body (systemic) side effects associated with prostaglandin
medicines for glaucoma. Latanoprost has no effect on blood pressure or heart
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
People who wear contact lenses
need to take their contacts out before putting these eyedrops into their eyes.
The contacts can be reinserted 15 minutes after using the eyedrops.
If you are putting in more than one type of eyedrop at the same time,
wait 5 minutes between medicines.
Prostaglandin analogs should be
used with caution by people who have infections in the eye (such as herpes
keratitis) or inflammation (uveitis), who have had cataract surgery or other
problems with the lens of the eye, or who are at risk for swelling in the
macula at the back of the eye.
Bimatoprost and travoprost should not be used by women during pregnancy
or by women who are trying to become pregnant. They should be used with caution
by women who are breast-feeding.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Abramowicz M (2007). Drugs for some common eye disorders. Treatment Guidelines From The Medical Letter, 5(53): 1-8.