FDA approves Zioptan Eye drops for Glaucoma and Ocular Hypertension
Glaucoma is a diseased condition of eye which results due to a blockage of the drainage system of the eye, which normally allows the fluid in the eye to flow in a normal manner outside the eye.This fluid is called aqueous humor This blockage results in an increased pressure within the eye, which can ultimately lead to an irreversible damage of the optic nerve fibers; resulting in gradual loss of vision and blindness.
There are two main types of glaucoma:
1. Open angle glaucoma.
2. Closed angle glaucoma.
The open angle glaucoma occurs in a slow manner and it is the most common form. The closed angle glaucoma can occur either in a slow or acute manner, and when develops, is a painful condition. The symptoms of open angle glaucoma usually first appear when the disease has already gone too far, thus the main aim of treatment is to stop any further damage, as the loss of vision which has occurred so far, cannot be reversed.
Recently, on 10th February, 2012, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Zioptan for treating open angle glaucoma.
FDA has also approved Zioptan to be used for those individuals who naturally have a higher than normal intraocular pressure, which brings them under a greater risk for developing glaucoma. Zioptan is 0.0015% of tafluprost ophthalmic solution and it is the only approved preservative-free prostaglandin analog for the treatment of glaucoma.
Zioptan is administered in the form of eye drops. It is prescribed as ‘once daily’ use, in the evening. This approval by FDA has been made after the clinical trial which lasted for 24 months (two years) involving patients suffering with open angle glaucoma and those with ocular hypertension (who had higher than normal eye pressures). These patients were found to have reduced eye pressures after three to six months of regular use of Zioptan.
Some of the side effects of this drug included a dark pigmentation of the eye color (in the iris which gives color to the eye; green, blue, black etc) and a growth of the eye lashes; but these are not actually harmful for the eye and usually disappear gradually after discontinuing the medication.