Drug formulation

    Medication-releasing lens could treat glaucoma

    Contact lenses that release latanoprost are at least as effective as latanoprost drops in reducing intraocular pressure, study finds.

    Retinal image of the eye of a woman with glaucoma


    New research suggests that glaucoma (pictured) could be treated with a lens that releases latanoprost

    Eye drops to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) are the first-line treatment for glaucoma, but they are associated with poor adherence because of difficulties with self-administration, as well as stinging and burning sensations. 

    Researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, developed a drug-eluting lens that can continuously release the prostaglandin analogue latanoprost. They tested it in four monkeys with induced glaucoma over one week. 

    The team found that wearing the lenses significantly reduced IOP at multiple time points compared with baseline. Both doses tested were at least as effective as latanoprost 0.005% drops in reducing IOP, the researchers report in Ophthalmology (online, 29 August 2016)[1]. 

    The team say that more work will be needed to determine the optimal continual-release dosage but -lens delivery could become a new treatment option for glaucoma.

    Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2016.20201689

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