The Safety and Efficacy of Glaucoma Medication in the Pediatric Population
Topical glaucoma medications are widely used for childhood glaucoma, although little is known concerning the use of the newer glaucoma medications in this population. The majority of the references cited were extracted from PubMed. A literature review of all English language reports related to glaucoma medication in the pediatric population since 1980 was performed. Medical therapy of pediatric glaucoma contains four groups of drugs: beta-blockers (timolol and betaxolol), carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (dorzolamide), alpha2-agonists (brimonidine), and prostaglandin analogs (latanoprost). Timolol is the first choice in pediatric glaucoma. In cases with insufficient reduction of the intraocular pressure (IOP), the combination of timolol once a day and dorzolamide twice a day brings about a good control of the IOP. Both medications are effective and well tolerated. The alpha2-agonists have more and potentially serious adverse effects in children and are contraindicated for children younger than 2 years of age. Latanoprost tends to be less effective in lowering IOP in children than in adults. However, no studies are reported where latanoprost is used in monotherapy. Additional study may further delineate this drug's role in treating pediatric glaucoma. The safety profile of latanoprost in children appears excellent.
Available from: Pedro N Brito
- "Also, it is important to note that no ocular or systemic adverse reactions were found during the entire duration of antiglaucomatous treatment. Our major concern was systemic events, as blood volume in children is only a fraction of that in adults, meaning that the same dosage of ocular medication results in a higher systemic concentration in children.24 Both timolol and dorzolamide have been found to be well tolerated in children younger than 6 years.24,25 "
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ABSTRACT: To report a case of severe, acute ocular hypertension in a 6-year-old child, 7 days after initiating treatment with oral prednisolone, due to nephrotic syndrome.
A 6-year-old female Caucasian child was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome and treated with oral prednisolone (60 mg/day). Seven days later the child initiated complaints of headache, vomiting, ocular pain, and photophobia. Ophthalmologic examination revealed a severely increased intraocular pressure (IOP) of 52 mmHg in the right eye and 56 mmHg in the left eye. Anterior segment morphology was evaluated with ultrasound biomicroscopy. Optic disc status was evaluated by disc photography, kinetic perimetry, and optical coherence tomography.
Treatment was initiated with latanoprost, brimonidine, and the fixed association of timolol and dorzolamide. At each follow-up examination, progressively better control of IOP was obtained. Simultaneous with corticosteroid dosage decrease we were able to reduce antiglaucomatous medication while maintaining IOP under control. Ultrasound biomicroscopy revealed an open angle with normal anterior segment echographic findings. Perimetric evaluation revealed normal visual fields in both eyes. Four months after presentation, steroid treatment had been completed and IOP was 10 mmHg in both eyes without any antiglaucomatous medication. Optical coherence tomography revealed normal retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in all peripapillary sectors.
Systemic steroid treatment can cause a severe, acute increase in IOP in children. Children undergoing steroid treatment should have routine ophthalmologic examinations during treatment duration. Prompt antiglaucomatous treatment prevents retinal nerve fiber layer damage and visual acuity loss.
Available from: Antonio Clavenna
- "In addition to these differences, other characteristics unique to the paediatric population include the lack of commercially available dosage forms and concentrations appropriate for paediatric patients and the lack of published research on the pharmacokinetics and clinical use of new drugs . The result is the high frequency of serious medication errors. "
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ABSTRACT: Many ocular medications are prescribed for paediatric patients, but the evidence for their rational use is very scant. This study was planned to compare the availability and the licensing status of ocular medications marketed in Italy, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States of America (USA) related to the amount of published and un-published RCTs testing these drugs in the paediatric population.
A quantitative analysis was performed to evaluate the number of ocular medications with a paediatric license in Italy, the UK, and the USA. A literature search was also performed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, and The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on ophthalmic pharmacological therapy in children aged < 18 years, published up to December 2010. A search in the international clinical trial registries, the list of paediatric investigation plans (PIPs) approved by European Medicines Agency (EMA), and the table of medicines with new paediatric information approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was also performed.
In all, of 197 drugs identified, 68 (35%) single drugs are licensed for paediatric use at least in one considered country, while 23 (12%) were marketed in all three countries. More specifically, in Italy 43 single drugs (48% of those marketed) had a paediatric license, while 39 (64%) did in the UK and 22 (54%) did in the USA. Only 13 drugs were marketed with a paediatric license in all countries.
The percentage of drugs licensed for paediatric use and for which at least one RCT had been performed ranged between 51% in Italy and 55% in the USA. No published RCTs were found for 11 (48%) drugs licensed for paediatric use in all three countries. In all, 74 (35%) of the retrieved RCTs involved mydriatic/cycloplegic medications.
A total of 62 RCTs (56% completed) on 46 drugs were found in the international clinical trial registries. Cyclosporin and bevacizumab were being studied in many ongoing trials. Twenty-six drugs had new paediatric information approved by FDA based on new paediatric clinical trials, while only 4 PIPs were approved by EMA.
There is a pressing need for further research and clinical development in the pediatric ophthalmic area, where effective up-to-date treatments, and additional research and education on use in children, remain priorities.
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