Dexamethasone plug opens opportunity for treatment that will bring patients relief, help alleviate and mitigate the signs and symptoms associated with conjunctivitis from allergies

A second FDA indication for the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis proves promising for patient relief.

Now we have the opportunity — in a very controlled fashion by you the ophthalmologist, or the optometrist — to place a dexamethasone plug or insert into the canaliculus — or into the punctum — and will enjoy 30 days of sustained and tapering treatment with dexamethasone leeching onto the ocular surface with every blink.

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

I'm Dr. Steve Silverstein with Silverstein Eye Centers in Kansas City, Missouri.

As most physicians are aware by now, Dextenza, or the dexamethasone punctal insert, has been approved and widely utilized for the treatment of postoperative pain and inflammation associated with intraocular surgery.

But now we have a second FDA indication for the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis.

For many years, doctors have shied away from the use of steroids in the cases of allergic conjunctivitis because primarily of their opportunity for abuse and overuse while patients want to achieve that level of comfort and clearing of their allergic conjunctivitis signs and symptoms. So we've been left with using non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, which have good utilization in patients with mild symptoms, but for the more moderate to severe cases of allergic conjunctivitis, the treatment has really been left short.

Now we have the opportunity — in a very controlled fashion by you the ophthalmologist, or the optometrist — to place a dexamethasone plug or insert into the canaliculus — or into the punctum — and will enjoy 30 days of sustained and tapering treatment with dexamethasone leeching onto the ocular surface with every blink.

It really has opened up an opportunity for appropriate treatment that will bring patients tremendous relief that will help alleviate and mitigate the signs and symptoms associated with conjunctivitis from allergies, both seasonal and perennial, and also do so in a safe manner without the potential for misconduct or misutilization of the product.