How the Medication Works:
Lowers intra-ocular pressure by increasing the drainage of eye fluid (called aqueous humor) out of the eye. Since more fluid is drained, the pressure in the eye is reduced.
Directions for Taking the Medication:
One eye-drop, once a day, in the evening (or at night, before going to sleep).
Advantages of this Medication:
Few systemic side-effects and given only once daily.
These eye-drops may cause lengthening of the eyelashes and rarely may cause darkening of eye color (iris) in blue and green eyes. This medication has relatively few side-effects but occasionally causes mild redness or irritation. Taking the medication before bedtime (or in the evening) ensures that the redness or irritation will occur during sleep, and will generally disappear by morning.
This medication group is the newest group that has been approved for glaucoma treatment. These eye-drops reduce intra-ocular pressure through increased drainage of the aqueous humor. The concentration of Xalatan in each drop is very small because it is very effective in lowering the intra-ocular pressure.
Additionally, Xalatan disappears (neutralized) very quickly from the bloodstream and therefore has a minimal systemic effect. This group of medications, also called ‘Prostaglandin analogues’ has two side-effects that are unique to it: darkening of the iris (mainly in blue and green eyes) and lengthening of the eyelashes. These changes not considered dangerous, but only cosmetic in nature. Regarding these two side-effects: stopping the medication will not likely cause reversal of iris darkening (i.e. the iris color will remain darker for good), but the eyelash lengthening will slowly reverse to the original eyelash length.