• Written By: Chirag P. Shah, MD, MPH

    This two-year proof-of-concept study found that daily oral doxycycline monohydrate, 50 mg, significantly improved foveal sensitivity compared with placebo in patients with severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy or non high-risk proliferative diabetic retinopathy. 

    The authors believe this to be the first study to find a link between use of a low-dose anti-inflammatory drug and subclinical improvement in inner retinal function in diabetic retinopathy. 

    They randomized 31 patients with severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy or nonhigh-risk proliferative diabetic retinopathy to 50 mg of doxycycline monohydrate or placebo daily for 24 months in a double-masked fashion.

    Retinal function as measured by frequency doubling perimetry increased in the doxycycline group (+1.8 dB) and decreased in the placebo group (-1.9dB). This significant difference was detected at six months and persisted through the two-year study.

    Doxycycline was well-tolerated with minimal drug-related adverse events and no drug-related ocular adverse events