Contact lenses effective for medication delivery, according to study

July 28, 2009

Drug-releasing contact lenses may provide correct and consistent dosages of medication for patients, according to findings published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

Rockville, MD-Drug-releasing contact lenses may provide correct and consistent dosages of medication for patients, according to findings published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

According to the study, several things counteract the effectiveness of medicine when traditional eye drops are used. Eye drops deliver initial overdose followed by an extended period of underdose, and only a minimal amount of the dose actually is absorbed by the eye, according to investigators.

“Compliance is the biggest issue addressed here,” said lead researcher Daniel Kohane, MD, PhD, of Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School. “People need to be able to properly and easily give themselves medication at home.”

The artificial lens delivers a constant dose of the medication, which increases the effectiveness of the treatment, according to researchers. This ability is particularly important for glaucoma patients, who on average administer drops accurately at rates between 41% and 76%, they said.

The lens prototype may be fitted for any dosage of medicine and synced with a person’s current contact lens prescription.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, Fight for Sight, the Johnson & Johnson Young Investigator Award, the Boston Keratoprosthesis Fund, and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.