Journal of ocular pharmacology and therapeutics : the official journal of the Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Topical loteprednol pretreatment reduces cyclosporine stinging in chronic dry eye disease.

PMID 21133792


This retrospective, clinical comparative analysis describes differences in clinical signs and symptoms and medication tolerability between those patients who receive topical corticosteroids prior to initiation of topical cyclosporine 0.5% emulsion (tCSA) therapy for chronic dry eye disease (CDED) and those who received tCSA and were not first induced with corticosteroid drops. tCSA is the only approved medication for CDED. Stinging is the most common side effect of tCSA and reason for tCSA discontinuation. This analysis describes an effective pharmacologic means to reduce tCSA stinging and subsequent discontinuation. Thirty-six consecutive patients were initially treated with loteprednol etabonate (LE) 0.5% (Lotemax; Bausch & Lomb) for a period ranging from 2 to 16 months prior to institution of concomitant tCSA (Restasis™; Allergan). Clinical parameters (fluorescein staining, conjunctival redness, tear meniscus) were compared over a period of 6 months to a second cohort of 36 consecutive patients who were initially prescribed continuous tCSA without concomitant LE pretreatment. Patients in the LE pretreatment group discontinued LE after 3-6 months of concomitant therapy while continuing tCSA therapy. Of the 36 LE pretreatment patients, only 2 developed significant stinging (5.5%) and 1 discontinued the use of tCSA because of stinging (2.8%). Of the patients without LE pretreatment, 8 developed stinging (22%) and 3 discontinued tCSA as a result (8.3%). The intergroup P value was significant for severe stinging (<0.02) and for tCSA discontinuation because of severe stinging (<0.04). Patients in the LE pretreatment group had no statistically significant differences in preenrollment disease severity or demographics (P range from 0.19 to 0.59) compared with the group without pretreatment. Topical corticosteroid preparation of the ocular surface in CDED with LE induction therapy may reduce discomfort from subsequent long-term maintenance topical medications, particularly tCSA. This analysis describes a readily available induction and maintenance pharmacologic strategy to reduce tCSA stinging and subsequent discontinuation.

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Loteprednol Etabonate, ≥98% (HPLC)