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The FDA has approved tafluprost ophthalmic solution (Zioptan – Merck), a prostaglandin analog, for reduction of intraocular pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. It is being marketed as the first preservative-free topical prostaglandin.
TOPICAL DRUGS FOR GLAUCOMA — A variety of topical agents are used to lower intraocular pressure in patients with glaucoma, including beta-blockers, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, alpha-2 agonists and cholinergic agonists, but prostaglandin analogs are probably the most widely used.1 By increasing uveoscleral outflow, they lower intraocular pressure by 25-30%. They usually have no systemic effects, but they can cause local irritation, itching, dryness and blurred vision, which may be related to some degree to the preservative benzalkonium chloride, which is irritating to the cornea.
4. A Chabi et al. Randomized clinical trial of the efficacy and safety of preservative-free tafluprost and timolol in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Am J Ophthalmol 2012 Feb. 4 (epub).
5. H Uusitalo et al. Efficacy and safety of tafluprost 0.0015% versus latanoprost 0.005% eye drops in open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension: 24-month results of a randomized, double-masked phase III study. Acta Ophthalmol 2010; 88:12.