• Cornea/External Disease

    This prospective, double-masked study tested diquafosol, a novel P2Y2 receptor agonist that promotes secretion of aqueous tears and mucins on the ocular surface. It found that both concentrations of the drug that were tested were safe and effective in dry eye patients.

    The authors randomized 286 Japanese dry eye patients to receive a single drop of 1% or 3% diquafosol or placebo ophthalmic solutions, six times a day for six weeks, after a washout period of two weeks.

    At four weeks, fluorescein corneal staining scores, rose bengal corneal and conjunctival staining scores, and dry eye syndrome scores improved significantly with both dosages of diquafosol compared to placebo. All adverse reactions disappeared or diminished to a nonproblematic degree during the study period or after the completion of the study.

    Separately, a study in the October British Journal of Ophthalmology showed diquafosol exhibited similar efficacy to sodium hyaluronate in improving fluorescein staining scores of dry eye patients. However, diquafosol showed superior efficacy in improving rose bengal staining scores.

    The authors of the current study from the October issue of Ophthalmology conclude that future clinical trials should test the efficacy of diquafosol in different types of dry eye disease or severe mucin deficiency dry eye states, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrosis, or ocular cicatricial pemphigoid. Future studies should also test the efficiency of diquafosol in superiority-inferiority protocols to clarify whether single or combined treatments with artificial tears, hyaluronic acid eye drops, or other tear substitutes provide further improvements in ocular surface health.