The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Tacrolimus safety

Klin Monatsbl Augenheilkd. 2009 Apr;226(4):234-6. Epub 2009 Apr 21.
[Safety of treatment with tacrolimus ointment for anterior segment inflammatory diseases]

[Article in German]

Wyrsch S, Thiel MA, Becht CN.
Augenklinik, Luzerner Kantonsspital, Luzern, Schweiz.

BACKGROUND: The off-label use of topical tacrolimus (Protopic) for inflammatory external eye diseases is gaining popularity. However, there are no reports on the safety profile of this new treatment option.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We treated six patients with different inflammatory eye diseases with topical tacrolimus (Protopic 0.03 %) as off-label use in addition to the conventional anti-inflammatory treatment. Patients were interviewed for side effects and serum drug concentrations were measured under steady state conditions one hour after topical application of tacrolimus ointment.

RESULTS: Two patients reported a slight burning sensation immediately after application, in one patient we found a slight worsening of the dry eye problems. No patient abandoned the treatment due to side effects. Serum drug concentrations remained below the analytical threshold in all cases (< 1.5 ng/ml).

CONCLUSIONS: Tacrolimus for the topical treatment of anterior segment inflammatory eye diseases is well tolerated without detectable systemic drug resorption.