I have been recently diagnosed as "glaucoma suspect" and have to take Latanoprost eye drops once daily. Is it okay to use regular Visine type eye drops daily or as needed, while on the glaucoma drops?
At a glance
- You can use other eye drops with latanoprost, including Visine, but they should be administered at least 5 minutes apart from one another.
Yes, you can safely use Visine eye drops with your prescribed latanoprost. However, you do want to wait at least five minutes in-between application of eye drops.
The prescribing information for Xalatan, a brand name product containing latanoprost, states the following:
Advise patients that if more than one topical ophthalmic drug is being used, the drugs should be administered at least five (5) minutes apart.
There are a few reasons for this recommendation:
- You need to allow enough time for the eye drops to absorb. If you try to instill too many drops at once, there is a good chance they will pool and run down the side of your face instead of being absorbed.
- Some eye drops contain the preservative thimerosal. Thimerosal-containing eye drops, when used with latanoprost, can cause what is known as a precipitate, in which a solid substance forms from the combined liquids. This could cause irritation and result in the drops not being well-absorbed.
Most (if not all) Visine drops are thimerosal-free, but this precaution is good to know nonetheless.
All prescription products containing latanoprost warn of use with other eye drops containing thimerosal, including one brand name product called Xelpros:
Thimerosal: Precipitation may occur if drugs containing thimerosal are used concomitantly with XELPROS. If such drugs are used, they should be administered at least five (5) minutes apart.
It is very important to instill eye drops correctly to ensure you experience the full effects of the medication.
To properly instill the eye drops:
- Tilt your head back slightly and pull the lower eyelid down with to form a pouch.
- Gently squeeze the appropriate number of drops into the eye-pouch and close eyes for 1 to 2 minutes. It is important not to blink as this could force some of the drops out of your eye.
- As mentioned in this answer, if more than one eye drop is being used (including Visine), they should be administered at least 5 minutes apart.
- Xalatan Prescribing Information. Pfizer
- Xalatan Prescribing Information. AccessFDA
- Thimerosal: an ophthalmic preservative which acts as a hapten to elicit specific antibodies and cell mediated immunity. PubMed
- Evaluating Eye Drop Instillation Technique and Its Determinants in Glaucoma Patients. PubMed