The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Azasite for blepharitis

I was looking forward to seeing something in print on this after all the anecdotal reports from patients and doctors. This looks promising.

For the miracle-seekers ("Where's my magic goop?") amongst us, please note that this study did NOT explore the effects of Azasite on its own. It compared compresses only to compresses plus Azasite and found a significant improvement to results when Azasite was added. I contacted the doctor who did this study and asked him to let me know what kind of compress it was.

Efficacy of topical azithromycin ophthalmic solution 1% in the treatment of posterior blepharitis.
Adv Ther. 2008 Sep 9. [Epub ahead of print]
Luchs J.

INTRODUCTION: Azithromycin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic with potent anti-inflammatory activities, has the potential to effectively treat blepharitis, an inflammatory disease of the eyelid with abnormal eyelid flora as an etiologic determinant. The present study compared the efficacy of topical azithromycin ophthalmic solution 1% (AzaSite(R); Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc, NC, USA) combined with warm compresses (azithromycin group) to warm compresses alone (compress group) in patients with posterior blepharitis.

METHODS: Twenty-one patients diagnosed with posterior blepharitis were randomized in an open-label study to receive either azithromycin plus warm compresses (10 patients), or compresses alone (11 patients). All patients were instructed to apply compresses to each eye for 5-10 minutes twice daily for 14 days. Each eye in the azithromycin group also received azithromycin solution (1 drop) twice daily for the first 2 days followed by once daily for the next 12 days. Patients were evaluated at study initiation (visit 1) and at end of treatment (visit 2) for the severity of five clinical signs: eyelid debris, eyelid redness, eyelid swelling, meibomian gland (MG) plugging, and the quality of MG secretion. At visit 2, patients also rated their degree of overall symptomatic relief.

RESULTS: Twenty patients completed the study. At visit 2, patients in the azithromycin group demonstrated significant improvements in MG plugging, MG secretions, and eyelid redness as compared with the compress group. In the azithromycin group, MG plugging resolved completely in three patients and MG secretion returned to normal in two patients; no such results were seen in the compress group. Furthermore, a higher percentage of patients in the azithromycin group rated overall symptomatic relief as excellent or good. Visual acuity measurements and biomicroscopic evaluation revealed no ocular safety issues.

CONCLUSION: Azithromycin ophthalmic solution in combination with warm compresses provided a significantly greater clinical benefit than warm compresses alone in treating the signs and symptoms of posterior blepharitis.
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