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Xalatan: Agent for Glaucoma

Ocular hypertension is intraocular pressure which is higher than normal in the absence of optic nerve damage or visual field loss. Normal intraocular pressure lies between 10 mmHg and 21 mmHg. Because intraocular pressure is the most important risk factor for glaucoma, those with ocular hypertension are commonly thought to have a greater chance of developing the condition. If your doctor has diagnosed you intraocular pressure, and has precribed you with Xalatan to aid with your intraocular pressure, this literature will be beneficial to you, and help you become familiar with Xalatan and more comfortable with it.

Xalatan (Latanoprost) comes as an ophthalmic solution. Each 2.5 mL dispenser bottle contains 0.005% Latanoprost. Xalatan is used for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension. One drop of Xalatan is administered in the affected eye, or eyes. Xalatan’s dosage is only to be given once time a day, and only in the evening. If you use any more Xalatan than is recommended, you run the risk of decreasing the pressure-lowering effects of the Xalatan medication.

The Latanoprost in Xalatan is a prostanoid selective receptor which is similar to a natural chemical in the body (prostaglandin) and works by increasing the outflow of aqueous fluid within the eye which, in turn, lowers intraocular pressure.

Before administering Xalatan, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly. To instill Xalatan, lie down or tilt your head backward and look at the ceiling. While holding the dropper over your eye, drop the Xalatan solution inside the lower lid, and make sure that the dropper never comes in contact with the eye. Finally, release the lid, and make sure to keep the eye open for at least thirty seconds. After thirty seconds, apply pressure to the inside corner of your eye for at least one minute. If you are going to use any other ophthalmic preparations in your eye, wait at least fifteen minutes between administrations. Xalatan should not be instilled in the eyes while wearing contact lenses. Remove contact lenses prior to administration of Xalatan, and only reinsert your contact lenses fifteen minutes after the instillation of Xalatan.

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Patients who are overly sensitive to Latanoprost, Benzalkonium Chloride, or any other ingredients of Xalatan should not use Xalatan.

Of course, Xalatan has side effects. These side effects may include blurred vision, burning and stinging, eye redness, the feeling of a foreign body in the eye, eye itching (pruritus), increased pigmentation (darkening) of eye color, or irritation of the clear front surface of the eye. The increased pigmentation is caused by the number of melanosomes (pigment granules) in melanocyctes. Heterochromia (different color for each eye) may result if patient is using drug in only one eye. Xalatan may slowly cause darkening of the eye color due to increased brown color, darkening of the eyelashes and eyelids, and increased growth and thickness of eyelashes. Color changes can increase as long as Xalatan is administered and eye color changes are usually irreversible.

Extra things to keep in mind concerning Xalatan include the following: do not share Xalatan with anyone else. Always keep Xalatan away from children. Store unopened Xalatan bottles in the refrigerator. Once Xalatan is opened, store in a cool, dry place away from light for up to six weeks. If a dose is missed, skip it, and return to your originally dosing schedule.

As long as you use Xalatan regularly and with proper technique, you will experience less pain and pressure within your eye, and you’ll be able to enjoy life without the intraocular pressure, and even prevent blindness.