New treatment in sight for dry eye disease
Wednesday, April 24 2013 | 00 h 00 min | News
Topical anakinra (Kineret), an interleukin-1 receptor antagonist generally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, may be effective in treating dry eye disease.
This surprising discovery was made by American researchers who had found that dry eye disease is associated with an overexpression of inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-1 (IL-1).
The study on topical anakinra involved 75 patients, divided into three groups. One group was treated with a basic lubricant, another with a solution containing 2.5% of anakinra and the third with a solution containing 5% of anakinra. Treatment with anakinra was well tolerated by patients and much more effective than artificial tears. At 2.5%, anakinra was four times more likely to eliminate corneal staining and six times more effective in reducing symptoms.
“We have never seen results such as this before in a trial to treat dry eye disease,” said Dr. Reza Dana, lead researcher. “We possibly have found a safe, well tolerated eye drop that can treat the underlying cause of dry eye rather than just temporarily mask the symptoms.”