What Is Latanoprost Used For?
Latanoprost is used for reducing eye pressure to help prevent damage to the optic nerve. It is approved for people with high eye pressure and open angle glaucoma, but should not be used in children. Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend off-label latanoprost uses, such as for the treatment of other types of glaucoma.
An Overview of Latanoprost Uses
Latanoprost ophthalmic solution (Xalatan®) is a prescription medication approved to help lower eye pressure in people with the following conditions:
Glaucoma is a group of diseases sharing certain features, commonly including high pressure within the eye (intraocular pressure), damage to the optic nerve, loss of peripheral (side) vision, and possibly blindness. Of all the different types of glaucoma, open angle glaucoma is by far the most common (see Types of Glaucoma).
Although there is no cure for open angle glaucoma, symptoms can usually be controlled. The most common treatments are:
- Medications (see Glaucoma Medications)
- Laser surgery (see Glaucoma Laser Surgery)
- Traditional surgery (see Glaucoma Surgery).
Not everyone with high eye pressure has glaucoma, although high eye pressure can lead to glaucoma. Effectively treating high eye pressure can help prevent glaucoma.
How Does Latanoprost Work?
Latanoprost belongs to a group of medications known as prostaglandins. Medications to lower eye pressure usually work by either decreasing the amount of fluid produced in the eye or by 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. By reducing eye pressure, latanoprost can help prevent damage to the optic nerve (and the vision loss that accompanies such damage) caused by high eye pressure.