Current status of unoprostone for the management of glaucoma and the future of its use in the treatment of retinal disease

Nathan V. Harms, Carol B. Toris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: Optic nerve and retinal diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP) are significant public health concerns and have a momentous impact on patients' functional status and quality of life. These diseases are among the most common causes of visual impairment worldwide and account for billions of dollars in healthcare expenditures and lost productivity. The importance of adequate treatment of these conditions and the need for efficacious therapeutic drugs cannot be overstated. Unoprostone continues to be developed as a potential treatment for these debilitating diseases. Areas covered: This review provides background information on unoprostone isopropyl (unoprostone), a prostanoid and synthetic docosanoid approved for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension, and recapitulates safety and efficacy data as it relates to this indication. Additionally, this review describes potential new uses of unoprostone as therapy for dry AMD and RP. A literature search of peer-reviewed publications was performed utilizing PubMed. Searches were last updated on 10 September 2012. Expert opinion: Current data indicate that unoprostone does significantly lower intraocular pressure (IOP) and has a favorable safety and tolerability profile. However, the IOP-lowering effects of unoprostone do not compare with other commercially available prostanoids and it has the disadvantage of a twice-daily rather than once-daily dosing regimen. Nonetheless, recent data suggest that unoprostone may improve neuronal survival and increase ocular blood flow, indicating that it may have some value as a therapy for glaucoma, RP and dry AMD. Further studies are needed to confirm whether unoprostone provides any clinically significant advantage over the other commercially available prostanoids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Docosanoid
  • Dry age-related macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Neuroprotection
  • Ocular blood flow
  • Ocular hypertension
  • Prostaglandin
  • Prostanoids
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Unoprostone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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