The safety and efficacy of glaucoma medication in the pediatric population.

Department of Ophthalmology University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus (Impact Factor: 0.73). 01/2009; 46(1):12-8. DOI: 10.3928/01913913-20090101-05
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Topical glaucoma medications are widely used for childhood glaucoma, although little is known concerning the use of the newer glaucoma medications in this population. The majority of the references cited were extracted from PubMed. A literature review of all English language reports related to glaucoma medication in the pediatric population since 1980 was performed. Medical therapy of pediatric glaucoma contains four groups of drugs: beta-blockers (timolol and betaxolol), carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (dorzolamide), alpha2-agonists (brimonidine), and prostaglandin analogs (latanoprost). Timolol is the first choice in pediatric glaucoma. In cases with insufficient reduction of the intraocular pressure (IOP), the combination of timolol once a day and dorzolamide twice a day brings about a good control of the IOP. Both medications are effective and well tolerated. The alpha2-agonists have more and potentially serious adverse effects in children and are contraindicated for children younger than 2 years of age. Latanoprost tends to be less effective in lowering IOP in children than in adults. However, no studies are reported where latanoprost is used in monotherapy. Additional study may further delineate this drug's role in treating pediatric glaucoma. The safety profile of latanoprost in children appears excellent.

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