People with glaucoma are often prescribed 2 or 3 different kinds of eye drops that work together to reduce pressure on the eye. These eye drops are also designed to prevent extreme fluctuations in pressure which can make the condition worse. To avoid these fluctuations, the eye drops must be applied 3 – 5 times a day. For busy people, the constant need to apply several drops, multiple times a day, can become quite challenging, not to mention uncomfortable.
Dr Jesse Richman, who specialises in medical and surgical treatment of glaucoma and cataracts at Wills Eye Hospital in the U.S., recommends the use of compounded eye drop medication to increase the rate of long-term adherence to a treatment plan.
Dr Richman believes specially compounded eye drops can overcome some of the obstacles associated with administering multiple medications at multiple times, on a daily basis. Compounding pharmacists are able to combine several medications in the one drop, thereby reducing application time, and the level of discomfort, for the patient over the course of the day.
“Certainly, easier is better, and combination drops allow patients to take the same bottle of drops just once or twice a day, depending on the situation,” Dr Richman wrote in an article published in the Opthalmology Times.
Many people being treated for glaucoma also experience occular surface toxicity due to the number and types of eyedrops being administered. Symptoms of ocular surface toxicity can include a feeling of dryness, irritation and burning as well as light sensitivity and blurred vision.
Occular surface toxicity is often exacerbated by a preservative commonly used in eye drops called benzalkonium chloride (BAK). The problem is multiplied when a person applies a number of drops, several times a day. To combat this problem a compounding pharmacist can make up eye drop medication free from BAK and other preservatives that might cause irritation.
“If we can minimize dry eye while effectively managing glaucoma, patients are more likely to adhere to their medications because the treatment is not making them miserable,” Dr Richman wrote in his article.
“Naturally, when the drops cause chronic irritation, adherence decreases. This is an important challenge to address because all the benefits of glaucoma drops are invisible, but the adverse effects (AEs) can be glaring. We need to minimize those AEs for long-term comfort and adherence.”
Note from National Custom Compounding – In our sterile medicine compounding laboratory we can make up combination eye drops – free from all preservatives – to assist in the treatment of glaucoma and occular surface toxicity. For more information contact us on 1300 731 755 or [email protected].