The FDA has approved Travatan Z (travoprost 0.004%, Alcon). The new formulation replaces the preservative benzalkonium chloride (BAK) in the existing Travatan solution with Sofzia, a robust ionic buffered preservative system that is gentle to the ocular surface, the company says.

Alcon developed the BAK-free version of Travatan because long-term use of topical solutions containing BAK can compromise the ocular surface and exacerbate conditions such as dry eye.

A clinical study that compared Travatan and Travatan Z found that Travatan Z reduced IOP up to 8.5mm Hg on average, which was statistically equivalent to the IOP-lowering efficacy of the original Travatan.

However, chronic use of Travatan Z is less likely to compromise the ocular surface, potentially reducing eye irritation in glaucoma patients also suffering from ocular sensitivities, says Rick Lewis, M.D., lead investigator of this study.

Vol. No: 143:10Issue: 10/15/2006