Dermatological ointment used for refractory allergic eye disease
LONDON — Off-label use of skin ointment containing tacrolimus has achieved some success in alleviating signs and symptoms in patients with refractory allergic eye disease, according to a speaker at EuCornea.
“We were able to achieve remission in 30 patients,” Muhammad A. Ahad, MBBS, FRCS, PhD, said of 33 patients with either atopic or vernal keratoconjunctivitis who were on systemic immunosuppression therapy at Bristol Eye Hospital, U.K.
Of those patients, nine were started on tacrolimus 0.03% ointment for uncontrolled disease or side effects of their therapy. In the nine patients who self-administered the dermatologic ointment, only one remained uncontrolled and two were only partially controlled on therapy.
The treatment appears to be effective in patients with severe allergic eye diseases, may reduce the need for systemic immunosuppression and appears to be well-tolerated, although patients need considerable motivation to use the ointment, according to Ahad.
“The most common side effect we found was difficulty with instillation,” Ahad said. “Significant burning occurred in only one patient.”
Ahad said better results were observed when the treatment was used for atopic rather than vernal keratoconjunctivitis.
Disclosure: Ahad has no relevant financial disclosures.