ASCRS, AAO have new advice for primary care physicians about alpha blockers and IFIS

The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery are working with the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians to educate prescribers of tamsulosin (Flomax, Boehringer Ingelheim) about the association between the use of alpha blockers and intraoperative floppy eye syndrome.

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-The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) are working with the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians to educate prescribers of tamsulosin (Flomax, Boehringer Ingelheim) and other alpha blockers about the association between the use of alpha blockers and intraoperative floppy eye syndrome (IFIS).

Alpha blockers, prescribed for prostate and urinary retention problems, have been tied to the complication during cataract surgery.

All of the organizations have posted an educational update statement and a special report from the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery on their Web sites.

In part, the statement says: "In a patient with a known diagnosis of cataract, prescribing physicians may wish to consider involving the patient's cataract surgeon prior to initiating nonemergent, chronic tamsulosin or alpha blocker treatment. Options might include an eye exam or having either the patient or the prescribing MD communicate with the cataract surgeon. Patients should also be encouraged to report any prior or current history of alpha-1 antagonist use to their ophthalmic surgeon prior to undergoing any eye surgery."

The statement and journal article are available on the ASCRS home page, www.ascrs.org (under the News section).