Adding the drug latanoprost, also known as Xalatan, to conventional drugs used to treat the most common form of glaucoma can help reduce dangerous pressure in the eye that leads to blindness.
Researchers conducted their study among 380 patients with open-angle glaucoma or another form of glaucoma known as exfoliation glaucoma who had originally used the drug in another three-year study. All elected to remain on the drug for another two years so investigators could continue to monitor the safety and effectiveness of the treatment.
Results of the study showed most patients had no increase in iris pigmentation over the five-year period. However, a subgroup of 127 patients, mostly with an eye color known to be susceptible to color change, did see changes in pigmentation. Patients affected by the change were mainly those with two different colors in their irises, such as green-brown or yellow-brown. However the pigmentation changes stabilized over time and patients who experienced pigmentation changes had no more adverse events than those without pigmentation changes and the drug was also found to be just as effective in reducing ocular pressure in patients with pigmentation changes as it was in those without, lowering ocular pressure by about 25 percent.
Thus researchers conclude saying that latanoprost therapy is infact a safe and well tolerated option for long-term treatment of open-angle glaucoma.