Reviewed by Marguerite B. McDonald, MD
Loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic gel 0.38% (Lotemax SM, Bausch + Lomb) is a new iteration of the topical corticosteroid with a number of benefits for patients, said Marguerite B. McDonald, MD.
Approved by the FDA in February for the treatment of postoperative inflammation and pain following ocular surgery, the product is engineered with proprietary submicron technology that improves drug dissolution and penetration to target ocular tissues—resulting in treatment benefit with the convenience of twice-daily dosing.
Like its predecessor, loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic gel 0.5% (Lotemax, Bausch + Lomb), the agent is a non-settling gel in which the active ingredient remains homogenously distributed, obviating the need for patients to shake the container vigorously prior to instillation.
The submicron loteprednol etabonate gel is also gentle to the ocular surface because it contains two demulcents and is preserved with a very low concentration of benzalkonium chloride (0.003%), said Dr. McDonald, clinical professor of ophthalmology, NYU School of Medicine, and in private practice, Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island, Lynbrook, NY.
She described submicron loteprednol etabonate gel 0.38% as “a huge step forward” in topical corticosteroid therapy. “The new submicron formulation of loteprednol etabonate gel brings the benefit of twice-daily dosing for a molecule that has a 20-year history documenting its efficacy and safety,” she said.
Marguerite B. McDonald, MD
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Dr. McDonald is a consultant to Bausch + Lomb and other companies that market topical anti-inflammatory medications.