Tafluprost (Saflutan eye drops)
How does it work?
Saflutan eye drops contain the active ingredient tafluprost, which is a type of medicine called a prostaglandin analogue. It is used to lower pressure within the eyeball.
The pressure within the eyeball is naturally maintained by a continuous flow of liquid called aqueous humour through the eyeball. Aqueous humour is produced by a part of the eye called the ciliary body. It drains out of the eyeball through channels called the trabecular meshwork. If the outflow of aqueous humour is blocked, the aqueous humour builds up inside the eye, increasing the pressure within the eyeball. This pressure needs to be reduced, as otherwise it can damage the optic nerve and impair vision as a result.
Tafluprost reduces the pressure in the eye by mimicking the action of a naturally occurring prostaglandin. Prostaglandins are a group of natural body chemicals found in many places in the body. In the eye, they increase the drainage of the aqueous humour out of the eyeball. Tafluprost is a synthetic prostaglandin that acts on the same receptors in the eye as the natural prostaglandins. It causes an increase in the drainage of aqueous humour out of the eyeball, which decreases the pressure within the eye.
Tafluprost is used to lower raised pressure in the eye, for example in glaucoma. Saflutan eye drops are preservative-free, single-use vials of drops.
What is it used for?
- Open angle glaucoma.
- Raised pressure in the eye (ocular hypertension).
How do I use it?
- Wash your hands before using the eye drops.
- Take a single-use vial from the strip in the pouch. Replace any remaining single-use vials back into the pouch and fold the edge to close.
- Hold the vial upright and ensure that the solution is at the bottom of the vial before twisting off the tab to open.
- Tilt your head back and pull the lower eyelid down.
- Hold the vial close to the eye and gently squeeze the vial to allow one drop of solution to fall into the space between the lower eyelid and the eyeball.
- Immediately after administering the eye drops close the eye and press on the tear duct (at the corner of the eye closest to your nose) for about one minute. This is to minimise the amount of medicine that may be absorbed into the bloodstream, which will increase the local effect in the eye and minimise any adverse effects elsewhere in the body.
- Wipe away any excess solution around the eyelid.
- Repeat this procedure in the other eye if your doctor has told you to use the drops in both eyes.
- The eye drops should be put into the affected eye(s) once a day. The medicine is most effective if the drops are applied in the evening.
- One single-use vial of Saflutan eye drops should contain enough solution to treat both eyes if required. Once you have applied the drops you should throw away the vial, even if some solution remains.
- Unopened pouches of Saflutan eye drops should be stored in a refrigerator at 2-8°C. Once a pouch containing ten individual vials has been opened it may be kept out of the fridge. Opened pouches of the eye drops must be discarded 28 days after opening. It may be helpful to write the date of opening on the pouch in the space provided.
- This medicine is for use in the eye and must not be taken by mouth.
- These eye drops may cause your vision to blur temporarily after you have put them in your eye. Do not drive or operate machinery until this has worn off.
- Don't use these eye drops more often than once a day. This wont make them any more effective; in fact more frequent use is likely to make them less effective at lowering the pressure in your eye.
- Saflutan eye drops may cause the skin around the treated eye to darken. The risk of this can be reduced by wiping away any excess solution on the skin around the eye after putting the eye drops into the eye.
- These eye drops can cause your eye colour to gradually change over months or years of use, by increasing the amount of brown pigment in your iris. This is not associated with any symptoms and is not known to be harmful, however the long-term effects of it are currently unknown. It predominately happens in people with green-brown, yellow-brown or blue/grey-brown eyes. If the drops are only used in one eye, this may cause your eyes to permanently become different colours. The drops may also cause changes in the eyelashes of the treated eye(s) (increased number, length, thickness or pigmentation of eyelashes). Ask your doctor, eye specialist or pharmacist for more information.
- While using this medicine you should have regular eye examinations.
Use with caution in
- Closed angle glaucoma.
- Glaucoma present from birth (congenital glaucoma).
- Glaucoma caused by the growth of new blood vessels over the iris (neovascular glaucoma).
- Glaucoma caused by accumulation of pigment particles in the drainage channels of the eye (pigmentary glaucoma).
- Glaucoma caused as a result of a disorder of part of the eyeball called the ciliary body (pseudoexfoliative glaucoma).
- Inflammatory conditions of the eye such as conjunctivitis.
- People with an artificial lens in the eye (pseudophakia).
- People with no lens in the eye (aphakia).
- People with risk factors for swelling of the back of the eye (cystoid macular oedema), such as a closed or blocked retinal vein or diabetes affecting the eyes (diabetic retinopathy).
- People with a history or risk of inflammation of the middle layer of the eyeball (uveitis) or the iris (iritis).
- Decreased liver function.
- Decreased kidney function.
- Severe or poorly controlled asthma.
Not to be used in
- This medicine is not recommended for children and adolescents under 18 years of age, as there is no information regarding its safety and efficacy in this age group.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy. If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- This medicine could be harmful to a developing baby. It should not be used during pregnancy unless considered essential by your doctor.
- Women who could get pregnant should use an effective method of contraception to avoid getting pregnant while using these eye drops. Seek further medical advice from your doctor.
- It is not known if this medicine passes into breast milk after being applied into the eye. The manufacturer states that it is not recommended for women who are breastfeeding. Seek further medical advice from your doctor.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Very common (affect more than 1 in 10 people)
Common (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)
- Eye pain, itching, irritation or discomfort.
- Sensation of something in the eye(s).
- Dry or watery eye(s).
- Darkening, thickening and lengthening of the eyelashes.
- Swelling, redness or itching of the eyelid(s).
- Darkening of the eyelid(s) or skin around the eye(s).
- Change in colour of the iris (the coloured part of the eye - see warning section above).
- Discharge from the eye.
- Dislike of light (photophobia).
- Blurred vision.
- Reduced visual acuity.
Uncommon (affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people)
- Inflammation of the front of the eye, called the cornea (punctate keratitis).
- Inflammation of the eyelid(s) (blepharitis).
- Tired eyes.
- Inflammation of the membrane covering the eyeball (conjunctivitis).
- Abnormal sensation in the eye.
- Inflammation inside the eyeball.
- Unusual hair growth on the eyelids.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer. For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
You should always tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already using, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any new medicines while using this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.
The manufacturer does not anticipate that these eye drops will affect any other medicines.
However, if you are using more than one type of eye drop you should administer them at least five minutes apart, to prevent the second drop washing away the first. Use eye gels or ointments last.
Other medicines containing the same active ingredient
There are currently no other medicines available in the UK that contain tafluprost as the active ingredient.