Four years ago, research revealed that Travatan (travoprost, Alcon) was more effective in lowering intraocular pressure in blacks than in whites.1

Since then, preliminary studies in small populations have indicated that Lumigan (bimatoprost, Allergan) may be equally effective in blacks as travoprost.2 A presentation at the recent American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting adds further weight to this research.3

Ophthalmologist Robert Noecker and colleagues, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, followed 94 African-Americans who had glaucoma and were treated with either travoprost or bimatoprost. After three months, the mean reduction of IOP was statistically significant from baseline (7.8mm Hg in the bimatoprost group and 6.9mm Hg in the travoprost group) but not significantly different between the two drugs. Overall, more patients had IOP reductions of up to 30% in the bimatoprost group compared with the travoprost group. Further, about one-third of patients receiving bimatoprost had IOP reductions of at least 40% compared with one-fifth of patients in the travoprost group. Dr. Noecker concluded that one drug can be used as effectively as the other in this population.

1. Netland PA, Landry T, Sullivan EK, et al.; Travoprost Study Group. Travoprost compared with latanoprost and timolol in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Am J Ophthalmol 2001 Oct;132(4):472-84.
2. Noecker RJ, Earl ML, Mundorf T, et al. Bimatoprost 0.03% versus travoprost 0.004% in black Americans with glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Adv Ther 2003 Mar-Apr;20(2):121-8.
3. Noecker RJ. Comparison of the IOP-lowering efficacy of bimatoprost and travoprost in black patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Paper presented at AAO Meeting, October 16, 2005; Chicago.

Vol. No: 142:11Issue: 11/15/2005