Background Subepithelial corneal infiltrates (SEIs) are caused by adenoviral infection, a highly contagious infection that involves the surface of the eye; it is a common chronic ocular condition that typically presents significant patient symptomatology. Long term topical steroid use is usually effective but with severe side effects. Tacrolimus has demonstrated effectiveness without significant side effects. Good pharmaceutical care assistants are important for adherence and efficacy.
Purpose Our aim was to evaluate the safety and tolerability of topical tacrolimus treatment for SEIs after adenovirus keratoconjunctivitis.
Material and methods This transversal retrospective study included patients treated with tacrolimus 0.03% (TC0.03%) eye drops twice daily or tacrolimus 0.2% ointment (TC0.02%) once daily over the past year. Demographic data were recorded from the clinical history; safety and tolerability were measured by a survey that patients completed when the drug was dispensed. There were seven questions covering symptoms before and after treatment, local and systemic adverse events, improved vision and overall satisfaction. All were measured on a scale from 1 to 10.
Results We analysed 63 patients (99 eyes), 57.1% were affected bilaterally. Mean age was 46.85 years (SD 14.93). TC0.02% was given to 26 patients (41.3%) and TC0.03% to 37 patients (58.7%). Treatment with TC0.03% in 33 patients (52.38%) was well tolerated: 1 patient (1.58%) had an allergic reaction, 1 patient (1.58%) had itching and there were no data for 2 patients (3.17%). In the TC0.02% group, the treatment was well tolerated in 20 patients (31.74%) and 6 patients (9.52%) had itching and chemosis. Mean survey results: (1) symptoms before treatment: 6.5/10.2; symptoms after treatment: 3.75/10.3; adverse events because of the drug, and their intensity: 1.85/10.4; any systemic adverse effect: 1.7/10.5; intensity of the itching: 2.65/10.6; vision improvement: 6.4/10.7; and general satisfaction with the treatment: 7.5/10.
Conclusion Topical tacrolimus, which is compounded in the pharmacy service, seems to be a safe and well tolerated treatment for SEIs after adenovirus keratoconjunctivitis.
No conflict of interest
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