Background Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) is an allergic conjunctivitis, often not easily diagnosed and properly treated. The disease is very debilitating for patients, may be complicated by corneal lesions and can evolve to keratoconus.
Purpose The exponential increase in VKC patients led us to start a close collaboration between pharmacists and allergists, ophthalmologists, and chemists. The goal was to address and solve problems caused by the lack of adequate knowledge of VKC, in order to find a diagnostic-therapeutic course, improve patient compliance and provide high-quality products as an alternative to conventional treatments.
Material and methods After discussions with allergists and ophthalmologists, pharmacists formulated 3 different kinds of eye drops as treatment: ciclosporin 1% and tacrolimus 0.1%, both in methylcellulose 0.15%, and ciclosporin 2% in sunflower oil. The stability of such formulations was demonstrated by using liquid chromatography coupled to a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. The pharmacist now prepares a weekly supply of eye drops, after allergists pass on the number of children who will undergo eye examinations. Then, the pharmacist proceeds, after allergist confirmation, to arrange for eye drops to be sent directly to patients’ homes in the whole country.
Results The LC/MS/MS and sterility analysis results allowed the pharmacist to declare that formulations in methylcellulose 0.15% and in sunflower oil were safe for up to 45 days. Such formulations were chosen considering also patient compliance. Indeed, one of the results of the team collaboration has been the development of the formulation in sunflower oil, which can be stored at room temperature; thus leading to huge advantages in terms of patient compliance.
Conclusion The preparation of a galenical formulation of such quality has contributed to the efficacy of the treatment. Moreover, the sharing of information between medical doctors, pharmacists and nurses has led to personalised assistance that is highly responsive to health needs.
Leonardi A. Prog Retin Eye Res 2002;21(3):319–39
ReferenceNo conflict of interest.
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