Latanoprost and cholinergic agonists in combination

Carol B. Toris, Albert Alm, Carl B. Camras

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Latanoprost, a prodrug of a prostaglandin F analog, is a potent ocular hypotensive agent, reducing intraocular pressure (IOP) primarily by increasing aqueous humor drainage through the uveoscleral outflow pathway. Initial assessments in animals found that high concentrations of cholinergic agonists reduced drainage through this pathway and attenuated the effects of a PGF analog. This raised the question of whether latanoprost would be effective when added to the treatment regimen of patients on pilocarpine or strong miotics. In published clinical studies, latanoprost was additive to the maximally tolerated medical therapy (which included cholinergic agonists) of glaucoma patients. Multiple doses of physostigmine in healthy volunteers did not block the effect of a single drop of latanoprost during a 1-day study. One study attempting to find the optimal timing of administration of latanoprost and pilocarpine claimed to show that additivity was best when pilocarpine was given one hour after latanoprost in the evening. Two other studies found that the timing of the doses was not important. To explain the additivity of latanoprost and pilocarpine, aqueous humor dynamics were assessed in ocular hypertensive patients treated for 1 week with each drug alone and then for one week in combination. The results showed that latanoprost increased uveoscleral outflow, pilocarpine increased outflow facility, and pilocarpine did not block or attenuate the uveoscleral outflow effect of latanoprost. The result was greater IOP reduction when these drugs were used in combination than when either drug was used alone. All available evidence demonstrates that addition of latanoprost to the treatment regime of patients already taking cholinergic agonists is an effective, although not necessarily the preferred, combination of medications for the treatment of elevated IOP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S141-S147
JournalSurvey of Ophthalmology
Issue number4 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Aug 2002


  • Additivity
  • Glaucoma
  • Human
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Latanoprost
  • Ocular hypertension
  • Outflow facility
  • Pilocarpine
  • Review
  • Uveoscleral outflow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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