Manufacturing autologous serum eyedrops is stopping? Please read if you use these.
I`ve been using these drops for 1,5 or 2,5 year, cant remember... and now I`m facing a major problem!
Here in Finland it goes like this; they draw 4x10 mL of my blood and make about 25 bottles for a months supply. Last week they told me that the glasstubes (in which the blood is drawn) are no longer been made. And theres no substitute for those tubes as every major company has stopped making those, because plastic tubes are replacing the glassy ones. And you cant use plastic tubes because blood is messed up in those if theres no additives in it (and this stuff needs to be pure, so thats why we dont want any chemicals in it)
So the tube needs to be glass, sterile, vacuum and non-additive/non silicone. And there just dont seem to be any company which makes these anymore? I cant believe that serum drops are soon no longer made anywhere in the world because of this?
The current tube is pretty much like this, different product number etc. because I live in Europe, same company anyways.
If anyone could tell in which kind of tubes your blood is taken? I know that this "serum-procedure" is different pretty much everywhere but still...
You could try to contact the blood bank of the University of Erlangen-Nueremberg in Germany. They also prepare autologous serum drops and fill them in tiny glass bottles (have got some for myself) and surely could tell you the source for the bottles.
Can This Really Be A Solution ?
Hi to all.. I am a new 'dry eye' member, although having had Sjogren's Syndrome for 10 years, have just found this site..
Following on from this short discussion about autologous serum eye drops..I was offered this years ago at a local hospital. I understand that they would somehow transform some of my blood tissue, into a certain type of eye drop that would maybe help me, ( having my ' own ' ingredients, so to speak ! )
They said then, that it was an option for people who had tried everything, but not found relief.
At that time I wasn't so bad, so they said I would be ok with just the Liquifilm Tears in preservative free 'sticks', for the problem then
But things have now got worse, and I find that my eyes are SO uncomfortable, especially towards the evening/end of day, that I recently visited my GP and I am now waiting to see if a specialist will at last offer this type of treatment, but imagine my disappointment to read that they may be finishing this treatment ( above entry)
Can anyone please shed a light on this matter please/
I live in Leeds, West Yorkshire, and I think this site is great, and really interesting to read..It helps
thankyou for reading, and I welcome your comments ?
I live in the UK and have just received my first batch of these eye drops yesterday. According to Moorfields Hospital there is not a problem with the NHS production the only problem is obtaining approval by the NHS to get new patients accepted onto the treatment.
As reported the only criteria is that your doctor has to prove that you have tried all classical remedies to no avail and that he considers this would work for you.
Autologous serum in UK
I went for the first stage of the `autologous serum' process today. I learnt quite a bit just by chatting to the nurses - so this might be of interest to those in the UK
After lengthy trials, autologous serum drops have been used in the UK for quite a few years now in the treatment of ocular surface disorders such as dry eye and epithelial defects. (Epithelial cells are those that cover organs of the body).
They work because they have biologically active ingredients such as growth factors, vitamins, and nutrients that can be used lubricate the ocular surface and support epithelial wound healing. Apparently many eye doctors are still not aware of the extent to which the drops can help some patients.
Even though they are made from a patient's own blood, serum drops are regarded as drugs - and therefore subject to regulation. According to current legal requirements, they can be dispensed only for outpatient treatment if the producer has obtained a licence from the appropriate local authorities. As it stands, the production & dispensing of serum drops in the UK is currently limited to a very few institutions - possibly around 5. The doctor who took my details hoped that this number would increase once the benefits were understood.
Any patient must be in good health - not anaemic etc. I didn't donate the full quota on account of my weight / build but this just means they will only be able to manufacture about 9 weeks of drops rather than 12 weeks. It will also mean more frequent visits to the Blood Transfusion Centre - but if the drops help, that is a small price to pay.
Originally Posted by irish eyes
I was wondering if you could give an update about your experience using
I am strongly considering using this treatment method and
would like your "take" on the serum eyedrops. Thanks.
The drops only arrived last week so it's really to early to tell.
Has your consultant suggested this treatment may help you?
Originally Posted by irish eyes
Initially, when I had my first visit with this doctor (he specializes in auto-immune disease of the eye) in Nov. 2008, he told me that he thought that my only treatment options was the Boston Scleral lens and possibly serum eyedrops because according to my doctor, the underlying auto-immune diseases I have (lupus and sjogrens) basically destroyed about seventy to eighty percent of my tear glands.
At the second ofice visit I had with him, he suggested trying restasis (although according to my doctor, only one patient of his was successful with this drug) and/or lotemax. I tried lotemax for four weeks and according to my doctor, it actually made my eyes drier (significant superfical punctate keratitis). I then tried restasis for four months and at my last office visit, my doctor said that beyond the tear film my eyes were totally dry.
According to my doctor,I now have two possible treatment options for my dry eye disorder:serum eyedrops and if that does not work boston scleral lens.
I also have had iritis(inflammation of the iris) and other ocular manifestations of my underlying auto-immune diseases in the past so that is the primary reason why I see this type of doctor.
That you so much for listening to my tale of woe and any feedback/suggestions you can offer will be greatly appreciated. Pam.
Good morning Pam
I would certainly consider the serum if it's an option.
You know the downsides of course; it's labour intensive so that reflects in the cost - plus you have to make visits to the blood donor centre.
I work hard at keeping myself as `well' as possible so I will also have to watch my iron levels because I have a tendency towards anaemia. You can only really commit to this if you are in reasonable health.
Like you, I get iritis (uveitis) but the attacks aren't as frequent as they used to be. I've been sent to see several rheumatologists over the years but nothing conclusive came out of it. (Eye doctors still raise the issue about the possibility of Sjrogrens even now).
There are very positive reports about serum drops - I jumped at the chance when my doctor suggested it because I was at my wits end with the discomfort. In the UK, these things have to be approved by the NHS because of costs etc so I had to wait around 6 months for a decision.
Restasis isn't available in the UK so I don't know whether that would help my eyes - the consultant had heard mixed reports about it - so for the time being - I'm putting my faith in the drops.
Originally Posted by irish eyes
I am seeing my opthalmalogist on Tuesday, November 17th and would really appreciate it if you could give me your initials impressions on using serum eye drops as I will speak to my eye doctor again about prescribing these drops.
I hope that the serum eyedrops have given you some relief from your dry eye symptoms and look forward to hearing from you soon.
I was ready to agree to almost anything when the consultant suggested autologous serum but cautious about getting my hopes up. I still consider it to be early days (6 weeks).
I use the serum several times a day. It can be a bit sticky and messy but it doesn't sting or burn. Initially, the blepharitis seemed to be more severe although this seems to be a bit better now.
One of the major differences I have noticed is the upper lid of my left eye. It was so inflamed that I used to take hold of the skin around my temple and hold it away from my eye - just so that it wouldn't be in contact with the eyeball and cause more stinging. The pain hasn't disappeared but it's much more tolerable.
Serum drops are not the easiest option but if your doctor thinks they might help, then maybe you should think about it. Like everything else, you have to be open minded.
For me, a major thing about not having as much chronic pain is being able to `think straight'. I am beginning to feel part of the world again although of course I'm hoping for more improvement as the time goes on.
By the way - I still take Omega 3 oils and follow the usual regimen of cleansing etc
Originally Posted by irish eyes
How is the serum eyedrop treatment coming along? Have you seen any improvement using the serum teardrops? Please let me know how you are doing as I haven't seen any recent posts from you pertaining to your serum therapy treatment. Thanks.
I think I have probably mentioned serum `in passing' through my other posts.
Yes, there has definitely been an improvement but I think it has reached a plateau now ie things are certainly not ideal but compared to what they were around a year ago......! I felt I had really hit `rock bottom' with it all and my spirits were very low because this has gone on for so long.
The consultant tells me that the ocular surfaces now look much healthier. I saw him around 3 weeks ago and he didn't think my eyes had changed since my visit 3 months previously - so the improvement came straight away and then it settled.
For some reason the blepharitis has become worse and I'm battling with that. I still have to keep the lids clean and express the glands when possible. (The consultant doesn't think that there is a connection)
Downsides - what do I do when I want to go on holiday - I can't take them on flights because they need to be kept stored in dry ice. I've checked out all the airlines and the answer is a firm no. I ordered Oasis tears (severe) to see if they help because I will need to take something with me if we go away. I'm in real need of a break but these things have to be factored in to any plans. I managed one weekend away where the drops were stored in a vacuum flask of ice - but I'd like to venture a bit further afield for longer.
How are you doing? I recall you saying that serum was something you had as a possible option.
Hi, I have a question, for those of you who are using the atologous drops, does your doctor have you put an antibiotic drop in as well?? I think this would inhibit the atologous drops effect?
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I take minocycline and I also serum; I'm not aware that antibiotics inhibits the effectiveness of the serum but others may have different views.
Originally Posted by Marily