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Latanoprost (Xalatan®)

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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  • Glaucoma is a potentially devastating eye disease, caused by the buildup of abnormally high pressure in the eye. In the normal eye watery fluid (called aqueous humor) is produced within the eye and continuously drains from the eye. Pressure within the eye builds up if this fluid does not drain properly. This pressure can damage the optic nerve, leading to vision loss.
  • Latanoprost is one of a number of topical medications used to treat glaucoma. It belongs to a group of drugs known as prostaglandin F2-alpha agonists.
  • Latanoprost decreases pressure within the eye by increasing the amount of fluid that flows out of the eye through the uveoscleral pathway.
  • Latanoprost is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.

    Brand Name and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in humans only.
  • Human formulations: Xalatan® (Pharmacia and Upjohn)
  • Veterinary formulations: None

    Uses of Latanoprost

  • Latanoprost is indicated in the treatment of primary glaucoma in dogs, especially when other anti-glaucoma agents have failed. It is used mainly to supplement other topical anti-glaucoma agents in the treatment of glaucoma.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, latanaprost can potentially cause side effects in some animals.
  • Latanoprost should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • The most common side effect is excessive constriction of the pupil (miosis). Other side effects include stinging upon application, redness to the eye, tearing, and a worsening of eye inflammation.
  • Latanoprost may interact with other medications, although it is commonly used safely with many other eye medications. Consult your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with latanaprost.

    How Latanoprost is Supplied

  • Latanoprost is available as a 0.005% solution in a 2.5 ml bottle. Unopened bottles should be stored in a refrigerator.
  • Once opened the drug may be stored at room temperature for a maximum of 6 weeks.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • The usual administration is once daily in the evening. Instillation in the evening produces less daily fluctuation in the pressure within the eye and less of a pinpoint pupil.
  • Twice daily administration should probably be reserved for cases of glaucoma poorly controlled by all other methods, or for short-term control of glaucoma following laser surgery or cryotherapy.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Glaucoma medications must be given consistently and on a reliable time schedule. Even if your pet feels better, glaucoma medications should not be stopped unless your veterinarian specifically instructs you to do so.

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