Immune-based drug could prove a better alternative to uveitis than conventional steroid treatment
Patients suffering from chronic eye condition called uveitis may now have an alternative approach better than the conventional treatment. According to a new research, an immune based drug called Humira has shown promise against eye inflammation and can potentially improve the way eye inflammation has been treated today.
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“Patients may have many unwanted side effects when taking steroids long-term, as many uveitis patients do,” said lead researcher Dr. Glenn Jaffe from Duke University. “The goal of these studies was to determine whether there was an alternative that could replace or minimize the use of steroids. The studies also looked at whether an alternative would be better tolerated or more effective, yet still safe.”
Uveitis is a form of eye inflammation that affects the middle layer of the tissue in eye wall. The symptoms fot the disease may include eye redness, pain and blurred vision and can range from mild to severe. The symptoms often come suddenly and get worse quickly. Mostly, Corticosteroids, a class of steroid has been used to treat the eye inflammation but long-term use of this drug can lead to many side effects which are often difficult to live with. Therefore, researchers were looking for an effective alternative treatment with few to no side effects.
To test whether Humira can work for uveitis patients, researchers recruited 217 adults with chronic eye condition and randomly gave them either Humira or a placebo. All participants initially received standard doses of the drugs followed by low doses every two weeks.
Researchers found that people receiving Humira were less likely to experience recurrence of uveitis or worsening of inflation than those who received placebo. However, it does not eliminate the disease just delays recurrence. Nevertheless, the results from this clinical trial were enough to convince researchers to routinely recommend Humira or adalimumab to their patients with uveitis.
“In our trial, adalimumab was found to be associated with a lower risk of uveitic flare or visual impairment and with more adverse events and serious adverse events than was placebo.” Study says.
The Food and Drug Administration have recently approved the use of Humira for patients with noninfectious uveitis, which makes it first and only FDA-approved noncorticosteroid therapy for the eye disease.