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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 132-139

Current trends in the pharmacotherapy of diabetic retinopathy

1 Department of Pharmacology, Ocular Laboratory, Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India
2 Dr. R.P. Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
S K Gupta
Department of Pharmacology, Ocular Laboratory, Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, University of Delhi, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.97176

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Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is one of the most debilitating disorders of microvasculature of the retina and one of the leading causes of vision loss among the working class worldwide. At present, intravitreal anti-inflammatory (corticosteroids) and anti-angiogenesis (anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) agents are being used as wide options for the pharmacotherapy of DR and diabetic macular edema (DME). Anti-inflammatory agents (Triamcinolone acetonide and other agents) have shown evidence-based clinical benefits in various randomized clinical trials for the treatment of DR and DME, and also shown improvement in best corrected visual acuity. However, direct intravitreal injections are associated with serious side-effects like cataract and elevation of Intra Ocular Pressure. Despite this, corticosteroid therapy has been effective for DR and DME, therefore current focus is on the development of novel intravitreal steroid delivery devices that release a small quantity over a prolonged period of time. In addition to corticosteroids, anti-angiogenic agents are found to be effective for the treatment of DR and DME. The most popular target of these agents is the subfamily of proteins known as VEGF, whose over-expression is believed to play a role in numerous diseases including DR and Age-related Macular Degeneration. Intravitreal bevacizumab (Avastin® ) and Ranibizumab (Lucentis® ) are gaining popularity as a clinical adjunct to panretinal photocoagulation in patients with proliferative DR. Moreover, Lucentis has been recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for macular edema following retinal vein occlusion. Further, systemic agents (specially, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic and anti-hypertensive agents) have shown beneficial results in reducing the progression of DR. In conclusion, it can be stated that for the present scenario systematic use of available pharmacotherapy as an adjunct to laser photocoagulation, which is gold standard therapy, can be a useful tool in the prevention of vision loss from DR and related disorders. This article summarizes the up-to-date developments in the pharmacotherapy of DR. Method- Literature search was done on online database, Pubmed, Google Scholar, and browsing through individual ophthalmology journals and leading pharmaceutical company websites.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
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