Clinical utility and differential effects of prostaglandin analogs in the management of raised intraocular pressure and ocular hypertension

Clin Ophthalmol. 2010 Jul 30:4:741-64. doi: 10.2147/opth.s10441.


Prostaglandin analogs (PGA) are powerful topical ocular hypotensive agents available for the treatment of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). Latanoprost 0.005% and travoprost 0.004% are prodrugs and analogs of prostaglandin F2alpha. Bimatoprost 0.03% is regarded as a prostamide, and debate continues as to whether it is a prodrug. The free acids of all 3 PGAs reduce IOP by enhancing uveoscleral and trabecular outflow via direct effects on ciliary muscle relaxation and remodeling of extracellular matrix. The vast majority of clinical trials demonstrate IOP-lowering superiority of latanoprost, bimatoprost and travoprost compared with timolol 0.5%, brimonidine 0.2%, or dorzolamide 2% monotherapy. Bimatoprost appears to be more efficacious in IOP-lowering compared with latanoprost, with weighted mean difference in IOP reduction documented in one meta-analysis of 2.59% to 5.60% from 1- to 6-months study duration. PGAs reduce IOP further when used as adjunctive therapy. Fixed combinations of latanoprost, bimatoprost or travoprost formulated with timolol 0.5% and administered once daily are superior to monotherapy of its constituent parts. PGA have near absence of systemic side effects, although do have other commonly encountered ocular adverse effects. The adverse effects of PGA, and also those found more frequently with bimatoprost use include ocular hyperemia, eyelash growth, and peri-ocular pigmentary changes. Iris pigmentary change is unique to PGA treatment. Once daily administration and near absence of systemic side effects enhances tolerance and compliance. PGAs are often prescribed as first-line treatment for ocular hypertension and open-angle glaucoma.

Keywords: bimatoprost; glaucoma; latanoprost; ocular hypertension; prostaglandin analog; travoprost.