Ocular surface disease in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension treated with either BAK-preserved latanoprost or BAK-free travoprost

Gregory Katz, Clark L. Springs, E. Randy Craven, Michela Montecchi-Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Purpose: The preservative benzalkonium chloride (BAK) may adversely affect ocular surface health. This study evaluated symptoms of ocular surface disease (OSD) in patients previously treated with a BAK-preserved therapy to lower their intraocular pressure, who either continued that therapy or switched to a BAK-free therapy. Methods: Eligible adult patients with ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma that had been controlled with BAK-preserved latanoprost 0.005% monotherapy (Xalatan®) for at least one month and had a score of ≥ 13 (0 = none, 100 = most severe) on the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire were entered into this prospective, double-masked, randomized, active-controlled, multicenter trial. By random assignment, patients either continued with BAK-preserved latanoprost 0.005% or transitioned to BAK-free travoprost 0.004% (Travatan Z® ophthalmic solution). OSDI scores were assessed again after six and 12 weeks. Results: For the 678 evaluable patients, mean change in OSDI score from baseline to week 12 favored the travoprost 0.004% BAK-free group, but was not statistically different between groups (P = 0.10). When patients with mild OSD at baseline were assessed after 12 weeks, the mean OSDI score was significantly lower (P = 0.04) in the BAK-free travoprost 0.004% group (score = 11.6 ± 10.8 units) than in the BAK-preserved latanoprost 0.005% group (score = 14.4 ± 11.9 units), and a significantly larger percentage (P > 0.01) improved to normal OSDI scores in the BAK-free travoprost 0.004% group (62.9% of group) than in the BAKpreserved latanoprost 0.005% group (47.0% of group). Patients pretreated with BAK-preserved latanoprost 0.005% for > 24 months were significantly more likely (P = 0.03) to improve to a normal OSDI score after 12 weeks if they were switched to BAK-free travoprost 0.004% (47.9% of group) than if they remained on BAK-preserved latanoprost 0.005% (33.9% of group). Conclusions: Switching from BAK-preserved latanoprost 0.005% to BAK-free travoprost 0.004% yielded significant improvements in symptoms of OSD in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1253-1261
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Benzalkonium chloride
  • Glaucoma
  • Ocular surface
  • Preservative
  • Prostaglandin analog

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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