Lumigan vs. Travatan vs. Xalatan

March 5, 2009

I read a letter to the editor in the Ocular Surgery News from a doctor who was very frustrated with the studies that each drug rep shows him that proves one glaucoma medication for controlling ocular hypertension is better than the other. He suggested, and I agree, that this essentially “proves” that corporate-sponsored studies are biased, for how could experts studying the same thing consistently come to different conclusions, each one coincidentally proving that the product made by their sponsor is the best?

So, I have come to the point where I tell my reps that when I choose a prostaglandin, I simply toss a coin. This way, the reps don’t harrass me! Or, I choose based on the patient’s insurance coverage. I wonder if anyone out there really sees a significant difference among the three in terms of efficacy ( we all know that Xalatan has the least redness).




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36 Responses to “Lumigan vs. Travatan vs. Xalatan”

  • ari

    agree with stretching out restasis.
    never heard of lumigan being better for contacts?

    generic may give you 1-2 points higher pressure.

  • I am currently on Lumigan .03 (two yrs.) have two bottles left then will have to go to .01. Just found out my insurance doesn’t cover the .01 (how stupid), so will have to change. However, pressure just went from 14 and 15 to 17 in both, so maybe I don’t care. I’ve been on Xalatan and Travatan Z also, over the past 6 yrs, but was told by my Doc that Lumigan was the best for contact lens wearers. I have worn gas-perms for 40+ years and continue to do so due to very bad astigmatism. Any info on pressure ups/downs for anyone on the generic yet? Hate to risk my eyesight just for cost, but – – – .

    FYI for the dryness – Restasis helps – also costly, BUT you don’t have to throw the vial away after one use like they say to. Snap the top back on, keep in a sealed container in fridge and use for 4 applications – two days. Stretches each script quite a bit. Doc recommended this.

  • Lynda Fowlie

    because of the cost I just ordered my Travatan (generic)out of Canada, today I discovered they are actually sending Latanoprosr, the generic Xalatan, then I see it listed on line as generic for either eye drop????????? What gives??? Lynda

  • B. Cota

    I appreciate all this info. I have been using Lumigan .01% since Nov. 2011. I got so used to it and recently because of insurance had to use Latanoprost .005% generic for lumigan ….Latanoprost stings when drops are inserted. I hate the red eyes…it’s worse w/ Latanoprost…does the redness subside after regular use. After all is said and done only thing i like is the side-effect of the long eyelashes!!

  • ari

    the concentrations of medicines cannot be compared to one another- they are different molecules.
    hard to believe the lumigan .01 was so less effective than .03. very atypical.

  • Eileen Previll

    Lumigan .03% keep my pressure down to about 17 ea eye. When lumigan changed to .01%, my pressure went up to 25 in ea eye (in 4 mos.). I was recently switched to latanoprost .005% Isn’t that a much smaller solution? .005% vs .01%?

  • Abigai Toner

    Hi I had a cornea transplant this past January. I already had glaucoma for many years but due to the post surgical steroid drops (anti-rejection) the pressure is out of controlled and my doctors keep trying different combinations. I’m on combigan which is a combo of two meds but its not sufficient so in conjunction to that the doctor put me on Lumigan I have used it for a week in a half. The first drop really burned but after that it was fine. In my second week the pain from the Lumigan was too much. Burning,light sensitivity,and blurriness. Over the phone my doctor was concern that I was rejecting the cornea. It was the lumigan. So he switched me to travatan. I was told it has less side effects. Well we will see. It is hard enough going through my surgery and to suffer with all the meds I have to use should be the least of it. Good luck all

  • Walt

    Random thoughts/observations/experiences:

    I’ve been on Lumigan since 2006. My eyes have pretty much been constantly red since then…

    A couple of years ago, my first doctor left the practice and moved to another state. The doctor who replaced him recommended SLT, so I had it done in both eyes. It was completely INEFFECTIVE on me. Quite a disappointment.

    About a year ago, the same doctor gave me some free Xalatan samples to try, in order to see if that would reduce my hyperemia (red eyes). Xalatan did seem to reduce the redness somewhat. It also stings a bit upon instilling the drop (unlike Lumigan, which just felt like water or saline). The stinging wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t a deal-breaker for me, either. However, Xalatan wasn’t covered by my insurance at the time, so I went back to Lumigan.

    Recently my second doctor left the practice, so I now I have a third doctor… Coincidentally, my employer is also switching insurance plans. The new plan doesn’t cover Lumigan. Now that Xalatan is available in generic form (Latanaprost), that’s what the new plan is pushing. So my new doctor is switching me to it. I just picked up two 3 mL bottles (a total of 60 days supply, I think) at Costco for around $22 straight cash (no insurance involvement at all). The manufacturer is Falcon Pharmaceuticals, which is apparently affiliated with Alcon Laboratories.

    I was indeed surprised to see that Falcon recommends refrigerating the Latanaprost vials until opening them. (This was not required for Lumigan.) Well, they’re in my refrigerator now. As soon as my current bottle of Lumigan runs out in a few days, it’s on to the Latanaprost…

  • ari

    not sure how critical it is, to be honest.

  • R. Hill

    I tried Lumigan for one week. The one eye with glaucoma became swollen, light sensitive and I had blurred vision. The other eye had similar but less dramatic effects. My doctor switched me to Latanaprost (generic) and I have no side effects other than a slight burning sensation after using drops.

    Do I really need to refrigerate the Latanaprost?

  • Now I understand.

  • ari weitzner

    here’s why:

    patients are reluctant to expose their eye to a laser treatment- they are scared, having heard of people who lost vision from laser (even though the slt cannot possibly harm the vision). so they prefer drops.

    also, slt too expensive to buy- have to shlep to the hospital or surgery center to perform it there. easier and equally effective to use argon in alt in the office.

  • Having just written about a sustained release version of latanoprost (Travatan) that is just starting clinical dosing trials — see — that may provide treatment for 3 to 6 months, why aren’t glaucoma docs using SLT as frontline treatment?

    I am biased, as I am a laser guy, and not a drug guy — the latter knowledge coming only when I started writing my online Journal (blog).

  • Al

    I was on xalatan about two years with success. My doctor Dr. switched me to Lumigan a couple of months ago. My eye lids are red and some bloodshot in my eyes. The Dr. said that Xalatan is now generic and does not contain all of the ingredients in the original Xalatan. Is it true that Xalatan changed the formula ?

  • ari

    the new lumigan (0.01%) is 1/3 as strong but equally effective as the old lumigan with much less redness.
    redness is not permanent, but the increased pigmentation of iris and skin is.

  • Ian M

    Lumigan does lead to a lot of red eye, new incidences are still reported months after initiation. Xalatan used to be the best tolerated, but ever since Travatan was available as BAK-free formulation this has the best all round efficacy & tolerability. And according to the data Travatan does have the best peak-trough control.

  • Deb G

    I just started on Lumigan and I immediately noticed I have red blotchy circles around my eyes! And my eyes seem a bit dry. My cousin recommend Xalatan stating it has the least side effects. The specialist said I have some thinning and loss of tissue so he decided to put me on Lumigan for precautions as I have had for the past twenty years what is called “Glaucoma suspect”. I just want to be sure this redness under the eyes isn’t permanent! Can anyone else share their experience with me? Thanks!

  • Joshua Lee

    I have a question. I’ve built up a tolerance to Lumigan and my choices are either Xalatan or travatan. I know you pretty much said that you flip a coin, but in your experience which one has better control over the peaks and valleys? Any help would be appreciated.

  • Dr. Ari Weitzner

    i think lumigan has a very slight edge in controlling fluctuation. but again, i dont think there is much clinical significance among the 3

  • ana maria

    I have read your thought about Travatan/Lumigan and Xalatan and I have one question for u. Can u tell what do you think about controll of fluctuations or Peak/Trough? Whos controlling better this things?