Generic Name: latanoprost
Product Name: Xalatan
Indication: What Xalatan is used for
Xalatan is used to lower raised pressure in the eye and to treat glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition in which the pressure of the fluid in the eye may be high. However, some people with glaucoma may have normal eye pressure.
Glaucoma is usually caused by a buildup of the fluid which flows through the eye. This build-up occurs because the fluid drains out of your eye more slowly than it is being pumped in. Since new fluid continues to enter the eye, joining the fluid already there, the pressure continues to rise. This raised pressure may damage the back of the eye resulting in gradual loss of sight. Damage can progress so slowly that the person is not aware of this gradual loss of sight. Sometimes even normal eye pressure is associated with damage to the back of the eye.
There are usually no symptoms of glaucoma. If glaucoma is not treated it can lead to serious problems, including total blindness. In fact, untreated glaucoma is one of the most common causes of blindness.
Although Xalatan helps control your glaucoma it does not cure it. So you must keep using it until your doctor tells you to stop.
Xalatan is used, either alone or in combination with other eye medicines, to lower raised pressure within your eye.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Xalatan has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
Xalatan is not addictive.
Xalatan is not recommended for use in children. The safety and effectiveness of Xalatan in children have not been established.
Action: How Xalatan works
Xalatan belongs to a family of medicines called prostaglandin agonists. It lowers the pressure in the eye by allowing more fluid to flow out from within your eye.
The active ingredient in Xalatan eye drops is latanoprost. Each 1 mL of Xalatan contains 50 micrograms of latanoprost. Each drop contains about 1.5 micrograms of latanoprost.
Xalatan eye drops also contain sodium chloride, sodium phosphate monobasic monohydrate, sodium phosphate dibasic anhydrous, water for Injections, and benzalkonium chloride (as a preservative).
Dose advice: How to use Xalatan
Before you use Xalatan
When you must not use it
Do not use Xalatan if:
- You have an allergy to latanoprost or any of the other ingredients listed here. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
- Asthma, wheezing or shortness of breath;
- Swelling of the face, lips or tongue which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing;
- Hives, itching or skin rash;
- The bottle or packaging shows signs of tampering;
- The expiry date on the pack has passed. If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If you are not sure whether you should start using Xalatan, talk to your doctor.
Before you start to use it
Tell your doctor if:
- You have had an allergy to any other medicines or any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes;
- You are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Your doctor will discuss the possible risks and benefits of using Xalatan during pregnancy;
- You are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed. Your doctor will discuss the possible risks and benefits of using Xalatan when breastfeeding;
- You have or have had any medical conditions such as severe asthma, or any other types of glaucoma or eye conditions.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him or her before you use Xalatan.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and Xalatan may interfere with each other. These include:
- Eye drops which contain an ingredient called thiomersal. If using such eye drops as well as Xalatan, you should wait at least 5 minutes between using these eye drops and Xalatan;
- Some other eye drops that contain a prostaglandin. The use of two or more prostaglandin eye drops at the same time is not recommended.
How to use Xalatan
Use Xalatan only when prescribed by your doctor.
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor carefully. They may differ from the information contained here.
If you are being changed from one eye drop to another, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully as to when to stop the old drops and when to start the new drops.
How much to use
The usual dose of Xalatan is one drop into the affected eye, or eyes, once daily.
Use Xalatan every day, at about the same time each day, preferably in the evening, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Using your eye drops at the same time each day will have the best effect on your eye pressure. It will also help you remember when to use the eye drops.
How to use it
If you are wearing soft contact lenses, remove them before putting the drops in your eye. The preservative in Xalatan (benzalkonium chloride) may be deposited in soft contact lenses. You can put your soft contact lenses back into your eyes 15 minutes after you have used Xalatan.
If using other eye drops in addition to Xalatan, wait at least 5 minutes before putting any other drops in your eye(s).
Be careful not to touch the dropper tip against your eye, eyelid or anything else. Touching the dropper tip against something may contaminate the eye drops and give you an eye infection.
You may find it easier to put drops in your eye while you are sitting or lying down.
- Wash your hands well with soap and water;
- Twist off the protective overcap from the bottle;
- Unscrew the inner cap;
- Use your finger to gently pull down the lower eyelid of your affected eye;
- Tilt your head back and look up;
- Place the tip of the bottle close to but not touching your eye. Squeeze the bottle gently so that only one drop goes into your eye, then release the lower eyelid. Close your eye. Do not blink or rub your eye;
- While your eye is closed, place your index finger against the inside corner of your eye and press against your nose for about two minutes. This will help to stop the medicine from draining through the tear duct to the nose and throat, from where it can be absorbed into other parts of your body. Ask your doctor for more specific instructions on this technique;
- Screw the inner cap back on the bottle;
- Wash your hands again with soap and water to remove any residue.
You may feel a slight burning sensation in the eye shortly after using the eye drops. If this persists or is very uncomfortable, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
How long to use it
Continue using Xalatan every day for as long as your doctor prescribes. Xalatan helps control your condition but does not cure it.
If you forget to use it
If you miss a dose, skip the dose you missed and use your next dose when you are meant to. If you are not sure whether to skip the dose, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not use double the amount to make up for the dose that you missed.
If you use too much (overdose)
If you accidentally put several drops in your eye, immediately rinse your eye with warm water.
If you think that you or anyone else may have swallowed Xalatan, immediately telephone your doctor or the Australian Poisons Information Centre (telephone 131126) or the New Zealand National Poisons Information Centre (telephone 0800 POISON or 0800 764 766) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
While you are using Xalatan
Things you must do
To make sure Xalatan is working properly, have your eye pressure checked regularly.
Have your eyes checked regularly for any other changes, including a change in eye colour. A slow change in eye colour, which may be permanent, has been reported to occur in some patients who use Xalatan. Your doctor will decide whether you should continue using Xalatan.
If you develop an eye infection, receive an eye injury, or have eye surgery tell your doctor.
Your doctor may tell you to use a new container of Xalatan because of possible contamination of the old one, or may advise you to stop your treatment with Xalatan.
If you become pregnant while using Xalatan, tell your doctor immediately.
If you are about to be started on any new medicine tell your doctor and pharmacist that you are using Xalatan.
Tell all doctors and pharmacists who are treating you that you are using Xalatan.
Things you must not do
Do not give Xalatan to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not use this medicine to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not stop using Xalatan without first talking to your doctor. If you stop using your eye drops, your eye pressures may rise again and damage to your eye may occur.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Xalatan affects you. Xalatan generally does not cause any problems with your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. However, it may cause blurred vision in some people. Make sure you know how you react to Xalatan or that your vision is clear before driving a car or operating machinery.
After using Xalatan
Keep your eye drops in a safe place away from the sight and reach of children. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
Before opening Xalatan, keep the bottle in its box in a refrigerator (2°C – 8°C) protected from light. After opening Xalatan, keep the bottle in its box in a cool place where the temperature stays below 25°C. You do not need to keep it refrigerated. Keep the box properly closed and protected from light. Do not store Xalatan or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it in the car or on window sills. Do not carry the eye drops in pockets of your clothes. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Put the top back on the bottle right away after use to avoid contaminating the eye drops.
Write the date on the bottle when you open the eye drops and throw out any remaining solution after four weeks.
Open a new bottle every 4 weeks.
Eye drops contain a preservative which helps prevent germs growing in the solution for the first four weeks after opening the bottle. After this time there is a greater risk that the drops may become contaminated and cause an eye infection.
If your doctor tells you to stop using the eye drops or they have passed their expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any remaining solution.
Schedule of Xalatan
Xalatan is a Schedule 4 (prescription only) medicine.
Side effects of Xalatan
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if you have any problems while using Xalatan, even if you do not think the problems are connected with the medicine or are not listed here. Like other medicines, Xalatan can cause some side effects. If they occur, most are likely to be minor and temporary. However, some may be serious and need medical attention.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- A slow change in eye colour over a period of time. The iris may become browner in colour and appear darker. This change may be permanent and more noticeable if you are only being treated in one eye;
- Blurred vision, double vision or other visual problems;
- Irritation or feeling of having something in the eye. This may be worse during the first two or three days of using Xalatan;
- Eye pain;
- Redness, burning or watering of the eye(s);
- Discharge, itching of the eye(s), crusty eyelashes;
- Darkening, thickening, lengthening or an increase in the number of eyelashes and the fine hair on the eyelids;
- Misdirected eyelashes sometimes causing eye irritation;
- Darkening of the skin of the eyelids;
- Crusting, redness, thickening, itching or burning of the eyelids;
- Sensitivity to light;
- Skin rash;
- Muscle/joint pain;
- Painful, urgent or frequent urination.
Tell your doctor immediately or go to hospital if
If any of the following happen, stop using Xalatan and tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:
- Wheezing, difficulty in breathing (asthma or worsening of asthma);
- Shortness of breath;
- Chest pain;
- You notice strong, rapid or irregular heartbeats;
- Swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing;
- White deposits or plaque in the cornea causing the transparent front part of your eye to look white or cloudy.
These are rare but serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention.
Tell your doctor if you notice any other effects. Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
For further information talk to your doctor.