Prostaglandin (PG) analogs are some of the most recent additions to the list of ocular hypotensive medications. Two analogs of naturally occurring PGs are available commercially, isopropyl unoprostone (Rescula [Ciba Vision, Atlanta, GA]) and latanoprost (Xalatan [Pharmacia and Upjohn, Bridgewater, NJ]). Presently, latanoprost 0.005% is the only PG analog commercially available in the United States. These agents have been shown to be the most effective topical medications for reducing intraocular pressure. They have a different mechanism of action than other ocular hypotensives, and act primarily by increasing uveoscleral outflow. Because of this, PGs have a substantial additive effect when used with agents that reduce aqueous production (eg, beta blockers or carbonic anhydrase inhibitors) or that increase trabecular outflow facility (eg, pilocarpine). Local side effects include mild conjunctival hyperemia and local irritation, darkening of iris color, increased growth of eyelashes, and a possible association with cystoid macular edema or iritis in some patients with other risk factors. No systemic side effects have been proven to be caused by latanoprost. Recommended dosing is once daily at bedtime.
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