And learn about glaucoma and your treatment.
XALACOM is used to reduce eye pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Both these conditions are related to an increase in pressure within the eye and eventually they may affect your eyesight.
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Your eye and ocular pressure
What is ocular hypertension (high pressure in the eye)?
- The front of the eye is filled with a clear fluid that creates a pressure inside the eye (called intraocular pressure). This clear fluid is different from the fluid that creates tears.
- In a healthy eye, the pressure is maintained when the fluid in the eye is drained out as quickly as it is produced.
- If an imbalance exists where the amount of fluid produced does not equal the amount drained, this may lead to an increase in eye pressure (ocular hypertension)
- Over time, the increase in pressure may eventually affect your eyesight.
You have been diagnosed with ocular hypertension
- You can’t “feel” high pressure in the eye.
- The only way to know if you have high pressure in the eye is to have your eye doctor measure it.
You have been prescribed XALACOM
- XALACOM is an eye drop that can help lower the pressure in your eye
- Make sure you understand how and when to take XALACOM.
- Remember to return for regular eye checkups, so your doctor can monitor your eye pressure and see if any changes to your treatment are necessary.
It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions – take your medication as prescribed and return for checkups as recommended.
Who gets glaucoma?
Anyone can get glaucoma, but some people may have increased risk factors including:
- Age: Everyone over 60 years of age is at an increased risk of developing glaucoma.
- A family history of glaucoma: If you have a family history of glaucoma, you have a much greater risk of developing it. Glaucoma may have a genetic link, meaning there’s a defect in one or more genes that may cause certain individuals to be unusually susceptible to the disease.
- Ethnic background: People of African and Asian heritage are at a higher risk of glaucoma. The reasons for these differences aren’t clear.
- Other medical conditions: Diabetes increases your risk of developing glaucoma. A history of high blood pressure or heart disease can also increase your risk, as can hypothyroidism.
- Eye injuries or eye surgery: Severe eye injuries can result in increased eye pressure. Certain types of eye surgery also may trigger secondary glaucoma.
- Nearsightedness: Being nearsighted, which generally means that objects in the distance look fuzzy without glasses or contacts, increases the risk of developing glaucoma.
- High intraocular pressure: If your intraocular pressure is higher than normal, you’re at an increased risk of developing glaucoma. However, not everyone with elevated intraocular pressure develops the disease. Additionally, not everyone with glaucoma has high intraocular pressure.
Routine eye exams
Keeping your eyes healthy, through routine eye exams, is important in maintaining your overall eye health. It is strongly recommended that you schedule an appointment with your optometrist/ophthalmologist for a routine eye exam at least yearly. Depending on the severity of your disease, you may require more frequent assessments.
Other useful eye care tips
In addition to regularly scheduled visits with an eye care professional, there are other things that can be done.
- Wear sunglasses all year round, even on cloudy days.
- Consume a balanced diet.
- Get regular exercise.
Taking XALACOM as prescribed
XALACOM is an eye drop that can lower the pressure within the eye. Taking your prescribed medication as recommended could be beneficial in helping to reach your desired target eye pressure.
Taking your medication as prescribed can be challenging. Sometimes, you may forget to administer your eye medication. Your eye care specialist may have some suggestions to help you take your medication properly. Be open and honest and tell your eye care specialist if you are having difficulty taking your medication as prescribed. This information may help your eye care specialist make important treatment decisions for your eyes.
Tips to help you remember to take your drops:
- If you don’t understand what your eye drops do, ask your doctor to explain – knowing how your medications work can help make you want to take them.
- Take your eye drops at the same time every day. Try to link using your eye drops with something else that you do regularly, like brushing your teeth. Keep your eye drops near your toothbrush to help you remember.
- Put a reminder note somewhere you’ll see it – on the fridge, on the medicine cabinet or on the bathroom mirror.
- Use a “dry erase” whiteboard and write down all the medications you take in one day, including your eye drops. Then check off each medication when you take it. Erase the check marks at the end of the day and start again.
- Set your alarm watch to beep when it is time to put in your eye drops.
- Ask a friend or family member to remind you to put in your eye drops. If you have friends who also use medication, create a “buddy system” and remind each other.
- Remember to take your eye drops with you when you are travelling.
- Make sure you don’t run out of eye drops – know how long a bottle of eye drops should usually last and fill your prescription before you are due to run out.
If you are still having trouble remembering to put in your drops, there are aids and alarms available that may help. Ask your doctor about these.
The XAL-EASE® Eye Drop Delivery Aid
Use XAL-EASE with one bottle of XALACOM eye drops to help with drop delivery.
XAL-EASE® Pharmacia & Upjohn Company LLC, owner/Pfizer Canada Inc., Licensee
The following is a list of organizations and associations that you can turn to for more information and additional support:
What does XALACOM do?
XALACOM is used to reduce eye pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Both these conditions are related to an increase in pressure within the eye. Eventually they may affect your eyesight.
How does XALACOM work?
XALACOM is a combination of two drugs that lower the pressure within the eye in different ways. Latanoprost is a prostaglandin drug that works by increasing the natural outflow of fluid from inside the eye. Timolol is a beta-blocking drug that works by decreasing the fluid production in the eye.
Who should not use XALACOM?
Do NOT use XALACOM if you have:
- a reactive airway disease including bronchial asthma, a history of bronchial asthma, or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- heart problems such as sinus bradycardia (low heart beat), sick sinus syndrome, sino-atrial block, second or third degree atrioventricular block not controlled with a pacemaker, overt cardiac (heart) failure, or cardiogenic shock.
- known hypersensitivity to latanoprost, timolol, benzalkonium chloride or any other ingredient in the product (sodium chloride, sodium dihydrogen phosphate monohydrate, disodium hydrogen phosphate anhydrous, water for injection, hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide).
In addition, XALACOM is not recommended for use in children.
What should I tell my doctor or pharmacist before I take XALACOM?
Before using XALACOM, talk to your doctor or pharmacist if:
- you are allergic to any of the ingredients in XALACOM.
- you have a respiratory disease such as asthma, have a history of asthma, or have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (severe lung disease which may cause wheeziness, difficulty in breathing and/or long-standing cough).
- you have disturbances of heart rate such as slow heart beat (bradycardia).
- you have certain heart diseases or conditions whose symptoms can include chest pain or tightness, breathlessness or choking, heart failure, or low blood pressure (hypotension).
- you have problems with your blood pressure or thyroid function.
- you have poor blood circulation disease (peripheral arterial disease such as Raynaud’s disease or Raynaud’s syndrome).
- you have diabetes or have low blood sugar levels.
- you have or have had muscle weakness or have been diagnosed as having myasthenia gravis.
- you are using any other eye drops or taking any other medication.
- you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant or are planning a pregnancy.
- you are breast feeding or planning to breastfeed.
- you have or have had herpes simplex keratitis (inflammation of the cornea caused by the herpes simplex virus).
- your eyes are sensitive to light.
- you are planning to have surgery.
- you have kidney or liver disease.
Learn More: Taking this medication >
XALACOM can affect or be affected by other medicines you are using, including other eye drops for the treatment of glaucoma. Tell your doctor if you are using or intend to use medicines to lower blood pressure, heart medicine or medicines to treat diabetes or other medicines including:
- calcium channel blockers, beta-adrenergic blocking agent
- antiarrhythmics (e.g. amiodarone, quinidine)
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors
- digitalis, fluoxetine, paroxetine
How should I take XALACOM?
The usual adult dose of XALACOM is one drop into the affected eye(s), once daily. XALACOM should be used until your doctor tells you to stop. Always use XALACOM exactly as your doctor has told you.
Follow these steps to help you use XALACOM properly:
- Wash your hands and sit or stand comfortably. If you wear contact lenses, remove them before using your eye drops.
- Twist off the outer protective cap from the bottle.
- Unscrew the inner cap of the bottle.
- Once the bottle is open, hold it in one hand and steady your thumb against your brow or the bridge of your nose.
- Use your index finger to gently pull down the lower eyelid of the affected eye to create a pocket for the drop.
- Gently press, or lightly tap, the side of the bottle to allow only a single drop to fall into the pocket. (If you put in too many drops, you may feel some slight irritation.) Do not let the tip of the bottle touch your eye.
- Close your eye for 2 to 3 minutes.
- If your doctor has told you to use drops in both eyes, repeat the process for the other eye.
What precautions should I take when using XALACOM?
- Do not allow the dropper tip of the bottle to touch the eye or other surrounding structures, because this could contaminate the tip with common bacteria known to cause eye infections. Serious damage to the eye with subsequent loss of vision may result if you use eye drop solutions that have become contaminated. If you experience any type of eye condition or have surgery, immediately seek your doctor's advice concerning the continued use of the bottle you are using.
- If you are using more than one type of eye drop medication, wait at least 5 minutes between each different eye drop.
- Tell your doctor before you have an operation that you are using XALACOM as Timolol Maleate may change effects of some medicines used during anaesthesia.
What if I wear contact lenses?
XALACOM contains a preservative (benzalkonium chloride) that may be absorbed by contact lenses. The preservative may form a precipitate with an ingredient (thimerosal) present in several contact lens soaking solutions. If you wear contact lenses, remove them before using XALACOM. Wait 15 minutes after applying the eye drops before putting your lenses back in. If you are using more than one type of eye drop medication, wait at least 5 minutes between each different eye drop.
What if I take too much XALACOM?
Contact a health care practitioner, a hospital emergency department or a regional Poison Control Centre immediately, even if there are no symptoms.
What if I miss a dose of XALACOM?
If you forget one dose of XALACOM, continue with the next dose as normal. Do not double dose.
How should I store XALACOM?
Before XALACOM is first opened, keep it in a fridge (between 2°C and 8°C/36°F and 46°F), out of direct light. Once the bottle has been opened, XALACOM can be kept at normal temperature up to 25°C (77°F), out of direct light. Make sure to keep it in a safe place, out of the reach of children.
XALACOM must be used within 10 weeks after opening the bottle. Discard the bottle and/or unused contents after 10 weeks. XALACOM should not be used after the expiry date on the bottle.
Learn More: Safety information >
What side effects can XALACOM cause?
- In some patients, XALACOM may cause a gradual change in eye color by increasing the amount of brown pigment in the iris (the colored part of the eye). This change may not be noticeable for several months to years. This effect may be more noticeable in patients with eye colors that are mixtures of green and brown, blue/gray and brown, or yellow and brown. This change may be more noticeable if you are only treating one eye. Therefore, there is the potential for permanent difference in the colour between the treated and the untreated eyes. This may be permanent, even after the medication is stopped.
- XALACOM may also cause your eyelashes to darken, appear thicker and longer than they usually do.
- A very small number of people may notice their eye lid skin looks darker after using XALACOM for some time. This may be more noticeable if you are only treating one eye.
- XALACOM may also cause your eye lashes to become ingrown.
- XALACOM may cause iris cyst (small cyst appearing in the colored part of the eye).
- When using XALACOM, you might feel as if there is something in your eye(s). Your eye(s) might water and become red. As with other eye drops, if your vision is blurred when you first put your drops in, wait until this wears off before you drive or operate machinery.
- A few people using XALACOM have developed a skin rash.
- A few people may experience changes in their vision, sometimes in combination with a red and sore/painful eye. These changes do not always occur right after administering the drops, and if they occur, you may find reading and seeing fine details more difficult. Although unlikely, if you experience any of these changes, stop using XALACOM and contact your doctor immediately.
XALACOM may also cause the following side effects:
- Common side effects: eye irritation (including burning and stinging), inflammation of the eyelid and eye pain, upper respiratory tract infection.
- Effects on the body: headache and skin rash, loss of appetite, muscle pain, joint pain, chest pain, heart palpitations, asthma, low blood sugar in diabetics, dry eyes, nervous system effects (including anxiety, nervousness, dizziness, confusion, disorientation, insomnia and hallucinations).
Be sure to tell your doctor (or pharmacist) if you notice any other unwanted side effects.
When should I seek emergency help for side effects?
Stop taking XALACOM and seek emergency medical assistance if you experience these rare serious side effects:
- Heart effects such as irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and low blood pressure
- Severe respiratory reactions (reported with administration of timolol)
- Allergic reactions with symptoms such as swelling of the mouth, and throat, difficulty breathing, hives, itching, rash
- Muscle weakness if you have myasthenia gravis or similar conditions (reported with beta adrenergic blockers (e.g. timolol))
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