1. Jan 25, 2019

Long-Term Option for Keratoconjunctivitis Assessed

Tacrolimus 0.1% drops led to clinical improvement. Investigators suggest caution when tapering/discontinuing.

Tacrolimus eye drops appear to be an effective long-term treatment option for vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) and atopic keratoconjunctivitis (AKC), according to Akira Matsuda MD, PhD, of the department of ophthalmology at Juntendo University in Tokyo. He presented his findings in a poster presented during the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s 2018 annual meeting in Chicago.

Dr. Matsuda and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis involving 63 individuals with either VKC (n=23) or AKC (n=40). They were treated with 0.1% tacrolimus eye drops for an average of ~41 months. Investigators also tested dose reduction and discontinuation. Among the results:

  • Clinical improvement was observed in 59 cases.
  • Among 33 patients in whom dose was reduced or medication discontinued, 21 experienced remission, whereas the remainder had flare-ups or inflammation.
  • Herpetic keratitis in observed in five patients. 

Dr Matsuda noted that when tapering or discontinuing, it is important to finely adjust dosage to avoid flare-up/inflammation. He added that treating 2 to 3 times a week appears to be a viable option for long-term treatment.

Matsuda A. Long-term follow-up of vernal/atopic keratoconjunctivitis patients treated with 0.1% tacrolimus eye drops. Poster presented at: AAO 2018 annual meeting; October, 26-30, 2018; Chicago.