Clinical data
Trade names Saflutan, Taflotan, Tapros, Zioptan
AHFS/Drugs.com Multum Consumer Information
  • US: C (Risk not ruled out)
Routes of
Topical (eye drops)
ATC code S01EE05 (WHO)
Legal status
Legal status
Pharmacokinetic data
Metabolism Activation by ester hydrolysis, deactivation by beta oxidation
Onset of action 2–4 hrs
Duration of action ≥ 24 hrs
CAS Number 209860-87-7
PubChem (CID) 6433101
DrugBank DB08819
ChemSpider 8044182
KEGG D06274
ChEBI CHEBI:66899 YesY
ECHA InfoCard 100.207.745
Chemical and physical data
Formula C25H34F2O5
Molar mass 452.531266 g/mol
3D model (Jmol) Interactive image

Tafluprost (trade names Taflotan by Santen Pharmaceutical and Zioptan by Merck in the US) is a prostaglandin analogue. It is used topically (as eye drops) to control the progression of open-angle glaucoma and in the management of ocular hypertension, alone or in combination with other medication. It reduces intraocular pressure by increasing the outflow of aqueous fluid from the eyes.[1][2]

Adverse effects

The most common side effect is conjunctival hyperemia, which occurs in 4 to 20% of patients. Less common side effects include stinging of the eyes, headache, and respiratory infections. Rare side effects are dyspnoea (breathing difficulties), worsening of asthma, and macular oedema.[1][2][3]


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can either reduce or increase the effect of tafluprost.[1] Timolol eye drops, a common kind of glaucoma medication, does not negatively interact with this drug.[2]

No interactions with systemic (for example, oral) drugs are expected because tafluprost does not reach relevant concentrations in the bloodstream.[2][3]


Mechanism of action

Tafluprost is a prodrug of the active substance, tafluprost acid, a structural and functional analogue of prostaglandin F (PGF). Tafluprost acid is a selective agonist at the prostaglandin F receptor, increasing outflow of aqueous fluid from the eyes and thus lowering intraocular pressure.[2][3]

Other PGF analogues with the same mechanism include latanoprost and travoprost.[2]


Tafluprost, as a lipophilic ester, easily penetrates the cornea and is then activated to the carboxylic acid, tafluprost acid. Onset of action is 2 to 4 hours after application, the maximal effect is reached after 12 hours, and ocular pressure remains lowered for at least 24 hours.[2][3]

Tafluprost acid is inactivated by beta oxidation to 1,2-dinortafluprost acid, 1,2,3,4-tetranortafluprost acid, and its lactone, which are subsequently glucuronidated or hydroxylated. The cytochrome P450 liver enzymes play no role in the metabolism.[3]

An analogous pathway (at least up to the tetranor-metabolites) has been found for latanoprost and travoprost.

Metabolism. From left to right: tafluprost, tafluprost acid (the active metabolite), 1,2-dinortafluprost acid, 1,2,3,4-tetranortafluprost acid, 1,2,3,4-tetranortafluprost acid lactone[4][5]
A tafluprost/timolol combination ophthalmic solution


  1. 1 2 3 Tafluprost Professional Drug Facts.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Haberfeld, H, ed. (2015). Austria-Codex (in German). Vienna: Österreichischer Apothekerverlag.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Dinnendahl, V; Fricke, U, eds. (2011). Arzneistoff-Profile (in German). 9 (25 ed.). Eschborn, Germany: Govi Pharmazeutischer Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7741-9846-3.
  4. Fukano, Y; Kawazu, K (2009). "Disposition and metabolism of a novel prostanoid antiglaucoma medication, tafluprost, following ocular administration to rats". Drug Metabolism and Disposition. 37 (8): 1622–34. doi:10.1124/dmd.108.024885. PMID 19477946.
  5. Fukano, Y; Kawazu, K; Akaishi, T; Bezwada, P; Pellinen, P (2011). "Metabolism and ocular tissue distribution of an antiglaucoma prostanoid, tafluprost, after ocular instillation to monkeys". Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 27 (3): 251–9. doi:10.1089/jop.2010.0178. PMID 21491995.
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