Short-term effect of latanoprost and timolol eye drops on tear fluid and the ocular surface in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension

Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2000 Feb;78(1):37-44. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0420.2000.078001037.x.


Purpose: To investigate and compare the short term effects of topical latanoprost and timolol on the tear fluid and ocular surface condition in patients with bilateral primary open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

Methods: Thirty-seven patients were included in this randomized, double-masked, parallel group study. Patients received either latanoprost 0.005% (n= 18) or timolol 0.5% (n= 19) instilled once daily in the morning for a treatment period of 27 days. Routine ophthalmic examinations, including intraocular pressure measurement, as well as tests to evaluate tear fluid and the ocular surface were performed.

Results: After one drop of medication, tear secretion was significantly reduced by timolol, but not by latanoprost. At the end of the study the break-up time (BUT) was significantly decreased in the timolol group but not in the latanoprost group. The BUT still remained in the normal range in both groups, although it is important to note that timolol was administered at half the clinical dose. Both latanoprost and timolol tended to increase Rose-Bengal staining of the cornea and conjunctiva after one month of treatment but no statistically significant difference was found between the groups. Corneal sensitivity was within the normal range for all patients during the study.

Conclusion: Regarding ocular surface effects, no clinically important differences between latanoprost and timolol were observed as all the effects remained in the normal range.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Conjunctiva / drug effects*
  • Conjunctiva / pathology
  • Cornea / drug effects*
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Dyes / administration & dosage
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / drug therapy*
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / metabolism
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / pathology
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / drug effects
  • Latanoprost
  • Male
  • Ocular Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Ocular Hypertension / metabolism
  • Ocular Hypertension / pathology
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / administration & dosage
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / therapeutic use
  • Prostaglandins F, Synthetic / administration & dosage
  • Prostaglandins F, Synthetic / therapeutic use*
  • Rose Bengal / administration & dosage
  • Tears / metabolism*
  • Timolol / administration & dosage
  • Timolol / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Prostaglandins F, Synthetic
  • Rose Bengal
  • Latanoprost
  • Timolol