OCT 14, 2021 6:00 PM PDT

Itchy, red, dry eyes? FDA approves monthly implant for allergic conjunctivitis

WRITTEN BY: J. Bryce Ortiz

The conjunctiva is a thin membrane that covers the front of the eyes and the inner eyelids. The conjunctiva produces tears and mucus to help lubricate the eyes, and the cells of the conjunctiva contain many immune cells that help fight off harmful substances. These functions of the conjunctiva help to ensure our eyes can easily clear debris and also protect the eyes from harmful substances. However, in some individuals this protective effect of the conjunctiva can become pathological and lead to inflammation. Inflammation of the conjunctiva is called conjunctivitis, and can be caused by a variety of factors including allergies. On Monday, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first physician administered implant that can treat allergic conjunctivitis. 

An estimated 10 million individuals in the United States seek treatment for allergic conjunctivitis each year. According to Michael Goldstein, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Ocular Therapeutix, stated, “allergic conjunctivitis is a common condition seen in the offices of eye care providers [and] the use of topical steroids is an important part of our current clinical armamentarium in the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis.” Indeed, topical steroids are effective in treating conjunctivitis but current treatment requires twice daily, or more, administration of eyedrops which can be cumbersome to patients. The recently approved implant, called Dextenza, is an implantable steroid that is administered by a physician and lasts for up to 30 days. As such, Dextenza removes the hassle of daily eyedrop administration. 

The FDA approved this extended use for Dextenza based on recent clinical data showing its effectiveness. In a study presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology annual meeting in June, researchers analyzed data from four clinical trials. That data was from over 300 subjects who were either administered Dextenza or a Placebo. The research showed that the Dextenza implant was safe with minimal adverse effects and, when compared to placebo, Dextenza was effective in the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis. 

 

Sources: BusinesswireCurrent Opinion in Allergy and Clinical ImmunologyInvestigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science

About the Author
  • Science and medical writer | Researcher | Interested in the intersection between translational science, drug development, and policy
You May Also Like
NOV 18, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Is Cannabis Useful for Symptoms of Endometriosis?
NOV 18, 2021
Is Cannabis Useful for Symptoms of Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a common gynecologic disorder impacting up to 10% of women of reproductive age in the United ...
NOV 23, 2021
Infographics
The Health Benefits of Cannabis
NOV 23, 2021
The Health Benefits of Cannabis
Legislation is opening more and more doors for cannabis- causing an explosion in both research and marketing campaigns f ...
DEC 16, 2021
Immunology
Just Add Water: Super Stable Freeze-Dried COVID Vaccines
DEC 16, 2021
Just Add Water: Super Stable Freeze-Dried COVID Vaccines
  In the face of a viral threat with pandemic potential, developing a potent vaccine is just one half of the battle ...
DEC 28, 2021
Immunology
Blood-Sucking Worms No Match Against Vaccine Pill
DEC 28, 2021
Blood-Sucking Worms No Match Against Vaccine Pill
Ancylostoma caninum, a type of hookworm, attached to the intestinal mucosa. Image via Wikimedia Commons. Hookworms are b ...
JAN 03, 2022
Cancer
Heating Up the Immune Response: Turning Cold Tumors Hot
JAN 03, 2022
Heating Up the Immune Response: Turning Cold Tumors Hot
Immune checkpoints are present on the surface of immune cells throughout the body.  Under normal conditions, they r ...
JAN 20, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Review Finds Improved Transparency Among Antidepressant Drug Trials
JAN 20, 2022
Review Finds Improved Transparency Among Antidepressant Drug Trials
Trials relating to newly developed antidepressant drugs are becoming more transparent. The corresponding study was publi ...
Loading Comments...