No preservatives in a new drug?--Zioptan (tafluprost) is a first preservative free prostaglandin analog drug for glaucoma

Tafluprost (Zioptan) was approved by the FDA to help lower increased eye pressure in people suffering from open-angle glaucoma and unlike other prostaglandin analogs--it DOES NOT have a preservative. Importantly, the drug is also approved for people with abnormally high eye pressure (what your doctor would call ocular hypertension) which is a crucial risk factor for glaucoma requiring treatment for many years. It has been pointed out by many experts (myself included), that the pills, medicine and in this case, drops don’t do you any good if they stay in the bottle.

An important point that has been missed in many outlets that simply reported the FDA approval of Zioptan is that there is a growing body of evidence saying it’s the preservatives that sting—potentially leading to decreased use and less than optimal results for eye drops that do have preservatives. Increased eye pressure and certainly glaucoma requires ongoing treatment. Zioptan only requires once a day treatment in the evening which should be welcomed by consumers—yet the important thing—adherence or taking the medicine over time begs to be researched.

It appears that Zioptan as the first PRESERVATIVE FREE prostaglandin analog may have a huge advantage in patient tolerability and willingness of patients to continue treatment. The challenge to the ophthalmology community is to undertake the studies and report the expected findings!

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