Myopia progression slows in children with new medication, says study

August 29, 2008

A study in the August issue of the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus reports that daily treatment with a medication called pirenzepine can slow the rate of progressive myopia.

Oklahoma City-A study in the August issue of the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus reports that daily treatment with a medication called pirenzepine can slow the rate of progressive myopia.

In the study led by R. Michael Siatkowski, MD, of Dean McGee Eye Institute, University of Oklahoma, Department of Ophthalmology, children with myopia were randomly assigned to treatment with pirenzepine gel or an inactive placebo gel.

After a year the average increase in myopia was significantly less for children using pirenzepine. Myopia did worsen in both groups of children; however, the rate of progression was slower with pirenzepine.

Thirty-seven percent of children using pirenzepine met the cut-off point for being prescribed new glasses, which is when myopia worsens by 0.75 D, compared with 68% of the placebo group. Eleven percent of children stopped using it because of eye irritation and the amount of change in the length of the eyeball was not significantly different between groups. More research is needed to determine whether pirenzepine affects the growth of the eyes.

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