ABSTRACT: Donepezil, a selective acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor, has been shown to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) in ocular normotensive rabbit eyes. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the effect of oral donepezil on IOP and pupil diameter after mid-term oral treatment in normotensive persons. Thirty-two newly diagnosed Alzheimer patients with normal IOP and no further antiglaucomatous treatment were included in the study. IOP and pupil diameter were evaluated before and 4 weeks after daily intake of 5 mg donepezil. IOP and pupil diameter were significantly lower/smaller after 4 weeks of treatment. The mean IOP of all 63 eyes was 14.1 mmHg before and 12.8 mmHg after treatment (8.8% reduction). Mean pupil diameter constricted from 3.9 to 3.6 mm (-7.4%). These findings show that donepezil, and, possibly, other selective AChE inhibitors, can potentially be used to treat glaucoma. They are also known to have neuroprotective effects in Alzheimer's, and, therefore, might have an additional therapeutic benefit.
Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics 03/2006; 22(1):62-7. · 1.51 Impact Factor