St. Louis, Missouri (NAPSI) - High pressure in the eye is an important risk factor for developing open-angle glaucoma.

Pressure in the eye can go up when fluid does not drain out of the eye properly. This can happen if the drains in the eye are not working correctly. Too much fluid stays in the eye, which causes pressure in the eye to rise. This high pressure in the eye is also known as ocular hypertension.

Some people with high pressure in the eye may develop open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common type of glaucoma and can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the link between your eye and your brain. When pressure rises in the eye over time, the optic nerve may be damaged.

It’s important to know that open-angle glaucoma can develop in one or both eyes. If you are diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma, your eye doctor may recommend a treatment option to lower pressure in the eye. There are a number of options available to lower pressure in the eye to help manage your condition. The most common treatments are prescription eye drops or surgery. Sometimes, both are needed. Today, most prescription eye drops to lower high pressure in the eye contain preservatives and they come in multiuse bottles. Preservative-free options to lower high pressure in the eye are also available and come in single-use containers. It is important for you to talk to your doctor about your treatment options. Together, you can decide which one is right for you.

Once-daily ZIOPTAN™ (tafluprost ophthalmic solution) 0.0015% was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2012. ZIOPTAN is a prescription, sterile, eye drop solution. ZIOPTAN is used to lower the pressure in the eye (or intraocular pressure) in people with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension when their eye pressure is too high. ZIOPTAN belongs to a group of medicines called prostaglandin analogs (PGAs). ZIOPTAN is not for use in children.

“It is important that patients diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma work with their eye doctors to find a treatment option that will help lower their eye pressure,” said George Spaeth, M.D., Wills Eye Institute,Philadelphia. “I am happy to have another option for patients in my practice.”

ZIOPTAN (tafluprost ophthalmic solution) helps lower the pressure in the eye and control it throughout the day. In clinical studies of up to two years, ZIOPTAN was shown to be effective in lowering high pressure in the eye. ZIOPTAN, used once daily in the evening, lowered high eye pressure by 6−8 mmHg (mmHg = millimeters of mercury, a measurement of fluid pressure in the eye) after being used for three months. It lowered high eye pressure by 5−8 mmHg after being used for six months. At the start of the study, patients’ pressure in the eye was 23−26 mmHg before taking ZIOPTAN. ZIOPTAN is approved to lower elevated IOP. ZIOPTAN is not approved to treat or prevent any other signs of open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, including optic nerve damage and/or vision loss.

Unlike most eye drops that lower high pressure in the eyes, ZIOPTAN is preservative-free. And it comes in sterile, single-use containers.

For more information on ZIOPTAN, talk to your eye doctor and visit

Important Safety Information About ZIOPTAN

ZIOPTAN may cause serious side effects including:

• changes in the color of your eye (iris). Your iris may become more brown in color while using ZIOPTAN. This color change may not go away when you stop using ZIOPTAN. If ZIOPTAN is used in 1 eye only, the color of that eye may always be a different color from the color of your other eye.

• darkening of the color of the skin around your eye (eyelid). These skin changes usually go away when you stop using ZIOPTAN (tafluprost ophthalmic solution).

• increasing the length, thickness, color or number of your eyelashes. These eyelash changes usually go away when you stop using ZIOPTAN.

• hair growth on your eyelids. This hair growth usually goes away when you stop using ZIOPTAN.

Before you use ZIOPTAN, tell your doctor if you have or have had eye problems, including any surgery on your eye or eyes, are using any other eye medicines, or have had any other medical problems.

Before you use ZIOPTAN, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if ZIOPTAN will harm your unborn baby. You should use an effective method of birth control while you use ZIOPTAN. If you become pregnant while using ZIOPTAN, talk to your doctor right away. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if ZIOPTAN passes into your breast milk. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you use ZIOPTAN.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

Tell your doctor if you have any new eye problems while using ZIOPTAN, including an eye injury, an eye infection, a sudden loss of vision, eye surgery, swelling and redness of and around your eye (conjunctivitis), and problems with your eyelids.

The most common side effects of ZIOPTAN include redness, stinging or itching of your eye, cataract formation, dry eye, eye pain, blurred vision, headache, common cold, cough, and urinary tract infection. Tell your doctor if you have any other side effects that bother you. These are not all of the possible side effects of ZIOPTAN. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Prescribing Information and Patient Information for ZIOPTAN are available at

This information is provided by Merck.