Precautions and Warnings With Latanoprost
To help minimize risks, talk to your healthcare provider about the precautions and warnings with latanoprost before starting treatment. The medication can cause certain side effects or problems, including a change in eye color, thicker eyelashes, or an infection. You should not use latanoprost if you are allergic to any components of the eye drop, including benzalkonium chloride.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using latanoprost ophthalmic solution (Xalatan®) 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 non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking latanoprost include the following:
- Latanoprost can cause increased pigmentation (darkening) of certain tissues. It can cause a darkening of the iris (the colored part) of the eyes, the eyelids, and the eyelashes. While darkening of the eyelids and eyelashes usually improves after latanoprost is stopped, eye darkening is usually permanent. This eye darkening is most noticeable in people with light-colored eyes (such as blue eyes), as Latanoprost tends to make the eyes more brown. These changes are not dangerous, and you can keep using latanoprost if they occur.
- Latanoprost can also cause longer and thicker eyelashes, as well as eyelashes that grow in the wrong directions.
- Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have a history of iritis or uveitis (certain inflammatory conditions of the eye). In general, latanoprost should be avoided if you currently have eye inflammation.
- There have been reports of macular edema (swelling of the macula of the eye) in some people who took latanoprost. Be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you have any vision changes, as they may be a sign of macular edema.
- Latanoprost is not approved for angle closure glaucoma, inflammatory glaucoma, or neovascular glaucoma, as it has not been thoroughly studied for these types of glaucoma.
- There have been a few cases of bacterial keratitis (a dangerous infection of the cornea of the eye that can quickly lead to blindness) in people who use eye drops. These cases were caused by accidental contamination of the eye drops by the users, who usually already had some damage or disease of the cornea. It is very important to prevent contamination of the bottle. Never touch the tip of the bottle with your eye, hands, or any other surfaces.
- If you develop any eye condition or require eye surgery, let your healthcare provider know. You may be advised to temporarily stop taking latanoprost.
- If you wear contact lenses, you must take them out before using latanoprost and wait at least 15 minutes before re-inserting them.
- Wait at least five minutes in between using latanoprost and any other eye drops.
- Latanoprost can potentially interact with a few other medications (see Drug Interactions With Latanoprost).
- Latanoprost is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Xalatan and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown whether latanoprost passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Xalatan and Breastfeeding).