You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking latanoprost if you:
- Have iritis or uveitis (inflammatory eye conditions)
- Have any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Latanoprost to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
Latanoprost belongs to a group of medicines known as prostaglandins. Medications to lower eye pressure usually work by either decreasing the amount of fluid produced in the eye or increasing the fluid drainage out of the eye. Either way, the result is the same -- lower eye pressure.
Latanoprost works by opening the channels that drain fluid from the eye. As a result, the medication can help prevent damage to the optic nerve caused by high eye pressure and the vision loss that accompanies such damage.
Some general considerations for when and how to take latanoprost include the following:
- The medication comes as a solution, which means that it does not need to be shaken before use. It is usually taken once a day in the evening.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly before using latanoprost.
- Gently pull your lower eyelid down with a finger (most people find that their middle fingers work best) to create a small pocket. Without actually touching the dropper to the eye, squeeze the bottle to place one drop into the lower eyelid.
- Alternatively, you can contact the manufacturer for Xal-Ease™, a free eye drop applicator device that can help you administer the drops more easily (ask your healthcare provider how to get Xal-Ease or visit the Web site for latanoprost for more information).
- If you use other eye drops, make sure to separate latanoprost and these other drops by at least five minutes.
- Keep the bottle free of contamination by not touching the tip to anything, including your eye, hands, or any surfaces.
- If you wear contacts, remove them before using latanoprost and wait at least 15 minutes before putting them back in.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Latanoprost will not work if you stop taking it.