In the Journals

Increasing medication burden challenges older patients with bacterial keratitis

The burden of treatment for patients with bacterial keratitis increases with age, according to a study.

A retrospective analysis of medical records of 48 adults with bacterial keratitis treated at the Kellogg Eye Center found these patients were prescribed a median of 587 drops associated with a median medication cost of $933.

Average age at time of diagnosis was 50.6 years, and for every 10 years of age, an additional 132 drops of medications were prescribed, increasing cost but not duration of treatment. Mean number of patient visits was 10 within an average 54-day treatment period.

“We knew that the medication burden was high, but we felt that it was important to quantify how high,” corresponding author Maria A. Woodward, MD, MSc, assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Michigan, told Healio.com/OSN.

Previous studies in glaucoma patients have demonstrated that older age and greater eye medication use negatively affect patient compliance with treatment.

“We believe the degree of medication burden is likely related to patient adherence to their medications,” Woodward said. “Providers should be aware of the challenges that patients face when they require intense treatment for bacterial corneal ulcers. Patients have a high medication burden over a short time period, and a complicated drop regimen may be difficult for many patients. Providers should keep open communication with their patients about the number and quantity of medications prescribed to help patients with proper adherence and manage costs.” – by Scott Buzby

Disclosure: Woodward reports no relevant financial disclosures.

The burden of treatment for patients with bacterial keratitis increases with age, according to a study.

A retrospective analysis of medical records of 48 adults with bacterial keratitis treated at the Kellogg Eye Center found these patients were prescribed a median of 587 drops associated with a median medication cost of $933.

Average age at time of diagnosis was 50.6 years, and for every 10 years of age, an additional 132 drops of medications were prescribed, increasing cost but not duration of treatment. Mean number of patient visits was 10 within an average 54-day treatment period.

“We knew that the medication burden was high, but we felt that it was important to quantify how high,” corresponding author Maria A. Woodward, MD, MSc, assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Michigan, told Healio.com/OSN.

Previous studies in glaucoma patients have demonstrated that older age and greater eye medication use negatively affect patient compliance with treatment.

“We believe the degree of medication burden is likely related to patient adherence to their medications,” Woodward said. “Providers should be aware of the challenges that patients face when they require intense treatment for bacterial corneal ulcers. Patients have a high medication burden over a short time period, and a complicated drop regimen may be difficult for many patients. Providers should keep open communication with their patients about the number and quantity of medications prescribed to help patients with proper adherence and manage costs.” – by Scott Buzby

Disclosure: Woodward reports no relevant financial disclosures.