Tacrolimus eye drops can be used to treat refractory vernal keratoconjunctivitis

July 19, 2011

Topical 0.0005% tacrolimus eye drops are a safe and effective treatment for refractory vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC).

Topical 0.0005% tacrolimus eye drops are a safe and effective treatment for refractory vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC), according to data published in Eye.

Dr A. Kheirkhah et al., Farabi Eye Hospital, Eye Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran, conducted the prospective study on 20 eyes of 10 patients with refractory VKC. Patients stopped using other medications and were treated with 0.0005% tacrolimus eye drops four times daily. The outcome measures included changes in subjective symptoms, objectives symptoms post-treatment and the progression of potential complications.

Patients presented with symptoms including itching, redness, photosensitivity, foreign body sensation and mucus discharge. After treatment all symptoms demonstrated signs of improvement. Objective signs such as conjunctival hyperaemia, conjunctival papillary hypertrophy, giant papillae, limbal hypertrophy, corneal punctate epithelial erosions, and corneal pannus also showed improvement.

There were no ocular complications associated with tacrolimus and additional treatment for further relief was not necessary. The study suggests the long-term use of tacrolimus for the most effective results.