Latanoprost is a prostaglandin F2-alpha isopropyl ester prodrug which is rapidly hydrolyzed by esterases in the cornea to the biologically active latanoprost acid. When latanoprost is topically administered into the eye, the cornea seems to act like as a slow-release depot to the anterior segment. One hour after administration maximum concentration is found in the iris, followed by the anterior chamber and the ciliary body. Despite extensive research, controversy remains about the real mechanism of action of this drug. Immunohistochemical data have shown that the intraocular pressure (IOP) reduction with topical prostaglandin F2-alpha is associated with a reduction of collagens within the uveoscleral outflow pathway. Evidence from several experimental and clinical studies suggests that latanoprost is a valuable addition first-line treatment alternatives for glaucoma, ocular hypertension and even angle-closure glaucoma. Strong points are its efficacy, which is demonstrated to be higher than that of brimonidine, dorzolamide and timolol with fewer systemic adverse effects; a convenient administration schedule; and the IOP-controlling pattern, which is relatively flat compared with timolol and dorzolamide, and enables better control in glaucoma progression, since large fluctuations may be associated with the risk of developing glaucoma in untreated ocular hypertensive subjects.
Keywords: glaucoma; intraocular pressure; latanoprost; ocular hypertension.