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Cyclosporine eyedrops relieve dry eyes: study

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Reuters Health

Monday, September 1, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Topical application of the immune-suppressing drug cyclosporine effectively relieves dry eyes in patients with mild, moderate, or severe disease, researchers report in the medical journal Archives of Ophthalmology.

Dry eye disease is a condition in which the tears that normally bathe the eye fail to do their job, potentially leading to damage to the cornea and vision problems. People who wear contact lens often suffer from this condition as do those who have undergone laser procedures to correct their vision. Women going through menopause also may develop dry eye syndrome.

Dr. Henry D. Perry from Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island, New York and colleagues evaluated the effect of cyclosporine drops in 158 patients with mild, moderate, or severe dry eye disease that was unresponsive to artificial tears therapy.

With cyclosporine treatment, symptoms of dry eye disease improved in 80 percent of patients with mild disease, 70 percent of patients with moderate disease, and 63 percent of patients with severe disease, the researchers report.

Twenty-two percent of patients showed no change in symptoms and fewer than 7 percent experienced a worsening of their symptoms scores.

"Surprisingly," the investigators say, "the greatest symptomatic benefit occurred in the mild patient group." This suggests that "early treatment of dry eye disease may yield the best results," they conclude.

SOURCE: Archives of Ophthalmology, August 2008.

Reuters Health

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