Why a DAILY regimen for eye drops to contain elevated intraocular pressure

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I am curious about eye drops used to control increased intraocular pressure, such as Latanoprost. The medication has succeeded (for me) in significantly reducing the elevated pressure and brought it down to normal levels. I have two related questions, please.

 

If one were to discontinue the drops, how soon, on average, would the pressure return to its elevated levels? Does it elevate within 24 hours, say, or could that process take a few days? Second, if a patient is experiencing some side-effects with the drug (but has had much worse side-effects with alternative drugs), would an every-other-day regimen be worth trying, to see if that might reduce the side-effects without compromising the effectiveness of the drug?

 

1 like, 12 replies

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Good question, I have wondered about it myself, but never really got a satisfactory answer! 
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  • Posted

    I've read it's best to taper off those eyedrops. Take every other day. Then every third day. Then stop.

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  • Posted

    I'm afraid I cannot endorse the recommendations of our fellow sufferers to wean oneself off the medication.. In my case the omission of just one day leads to itchiness in the eye and who knows what other permanent damage.  Remember, as it is, that any damage to your ocular nerves is irreversible, so is it really an inconvenience to put a couple of drops in your eyes each night? You brush your teeth before you go to bed, don't you? Think about the alternative.

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    • Posted

      It's not a matter of inconvenience but of side-effects.  I don't dispute the "common sense" in your advice, but I do hope to get some scientific/pharmacological answers to my specific question about how long it takes, on average, for the pressure to become elevated, and whether an every-other-day regimen poses any risks.

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    • Posted

      Yes, I would agree with you that it is not wise to try and taper them off without proper supervison.    I have been on them since 1997, and only forgot to put them in on one occasion a number of years ago, but I did not get any ill effects, and even now I don't have any optic nerve damage.    My pressures have seldom gone below 24, even with drops, and have occasionally gone up to 34, again with no ill effects.   One consultant said high pressure didn't always cause damage, but they prescribe drops to be on the safe side.     He added that they had quite a few patients with glaucoma and normal pressure!     It would make things easier if they developed a spray to put them in.    I have to lie flat on my back in order to manage it,      At age 73, it is not all that inconvenient, because we don't go out at night anyway, but I have to put them  in at 0800 and 0815, and another two of a different type in at 2000 and 2100!     It would have been very inconvenient when I was working (at sea).     But I didn't start them until I had left!  I hear there are pills to keep pressure down, but no-one has suggested them to me, and I wonder if they have more side effects.          

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  • Posted

    BTW, I am not trying to taper off or discontinue taking the medication. I'm asking about whether a DAILY regimen is required.

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  • Posted

    If you do not follow your doctor's instructions your eye pressure will rise quickly. If your drops have bad side effects such as headaches and dizziness they can be changed until you find the right drops. Tests are currently under way for a once a month injection which will replace daily eye drops. Beware of laser. It will only lower your pressure for a short time and you must continue taking drops regularly unless you opt for surgery.

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  • Posted

    I also suffer from Glaucoma for the last about 2 yrs which appears controlled up til now. However I never left the eye drops because their efficacy ranges from 12 to 24 hrs depending upon the eye drops being used as written in their brochures. As regards the side effects, all the eye drops have serious side effects; reducing the pulse rate, increasing/decreasing BP etc. If side effects are very uncomfortable then these have to be changed. I my self used 5 types of eye drops and ultimately settled down to Travatan once a day and Azopt twice a day.
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  • Posted

    Glaucoma causes complete or partial blindness. Due to glaucoma extended flooding is started inside the eyes. 
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  • Posted

    Predictably, the answer will be that it depends on the individual. In my case, my prescription had run out over a public holiday and I missed two days of the drops. My consultant opined that the residual effect of the previous days' treatment still held good - but I would not recommend weaning off unless one had access to very regular (daily?) checks to determine if there had been any detectable deterioration.

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  • Posted

    my eye specialist said the pressure would rise a few points each day until it is back to the pre treatment levels
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  • Posted

    Good questions; why get continuously exposed to serious side effects of all the eye drops for Glaucoma if IOP remains under control. I was diagnosed early Glaucoma in Oct 2015 when my eye sight was quite alright and I had gone to the Ophthalmologist just for normal check. Initially for about 6 months I kept changing the eye drops for some problems and then ultimately got settled with Travatan once a day ( effect remains 24 hrs) and Azopt twice a day ( effect each dose remains for 12 hrs). Since then my IOP remains 16-17. I was told not to miss the dose and I am still sticking to what they advised. My eye sight even now remains almost the same as 3 years back.

    Recently, a new Ophthalmologist came in our hospital. He examined me and said that mine appears to be an aging problem and I am not likely to go blind. With these remarks,  I asked him why not to reduce my drops in this situation to which he replied No No I must continue using the same eye drops as being already done.

    Good luck to you.

     

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