Eye drops for macular degeneration
may come from drug already approved for other uses. Age related macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness and expected to grow as the population in the US ages. Xibrom (Bromfenac) and its once a day form known as Bromday are eye-drops being used after cataract surgery to reduce swelling and pain. Bromfeneac is an NSAID drug, the same class of drugs found in ibuprofen (Advil) and aspirin.
Two Studies On Eye Drops For Macular Degeneration
Two studies have been completed on the combination. They have indicated that using Xibrom in conjunction with injections of Lucentis improves outcomes in wet macular degeneration. The Xibrom was used daily between injection periods. While there was not an improvement in vision, the addition of Xibrom did appear to reduce swelling of the tissue around the macula. This is an important cause of loss of vision from advanced macular degeneration and could be used in the future as a marker of positive outcomes in treatment, allowing a faster approval process. Xibrom acts as an anti-inflammatory eye medication while Lucentis lessens the growth of new blood vessels in the eye that leak and create swelling. Another study indicated the combination resulted in the need for fewer injections of Lucentis.
Since they work in two different ways, the combination appears promising for the treatment of macular degeneration. There are no phase three clinical trials occurring yet but other research on the effects on macular edema are underway.
Will Off Lable Eye Drops Be Used To Treat Macular Degeneration By Next Year?
Time will tell if this is an option that will reach the market. If future results are very promising there is always the possibility this class of eyedrops could see an off label use become popular. While pharmaceutical companies are very restricted and cannot promote the off label use of medications, doctors frequently do prescribe the use of eye drops and other medications for uses they have not been tested for or proven to be effective in treating. As long as everyone understands and it is considered reasonable treatment by community standards it does occur. This may be an exciting change we see next year. Health care reform may change theses dynamics.
Still, to date we have been focused on treating the symptoms of macular degeneration. It would be much better if we intensified our efforts in preventing macular degeneration. To date, intervention in nutrition and macular degeneration has shown very positive results. Limiting UV exposure to the eyes, especially at younger ages, is also one of the things we should all be working on for preventing macular degeneration in future generations.