Less lubricants used with BAK-free meds

October 1, 2014

Anti-glaucoma preparations that do not contain benzalkonium chloride (BAK) were associated with a change in lubricant use in a study of 240 glaucoma patients, suggesting reduction in some ocular surface disease symptoms, according to research published online.

Anti-glaucoma preparations that do not contain benzalkonium chloride (BAK) were associated with a change in lubricant use in a study of 240 glaucoma patients, suggesting reduction in some ocular surface disease symptoms, according to research published online in Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology.

Researchers in Australia conducted the OBSERVE clinical audit to track the impact of both BAK-free and BAK-containing intraocular pressure-lowering medications in patients with evidence of ocular surface disease.

A prospective clinical audit was conducted from March 2012 to April 2013. It enrolled 375 patients, 64% of whom completed the audit. Upon enrolling, some of the patients were switched from BAK-containing to BAK-free anti-glaucoma products. Data was then collected on all patients via an online survey over a 16 to 30 week period.

A significant reduction in the use of eye lubricants was reported in the patients who switched to BAK-free preparations. There was a significant improvement for patients in both groups in McMonnies Dry Eye Questionnaire score, and a significant decrease in both groups in the percentage of patients with low tear-film breakup time. Neither group demonstrated a significant change in IOP from pre-study levels.

To read the abstract of the study, click here.