Olopatadine beneficial for perennial allergic conjunctivitis

A pooled analysis of three randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled, conjunctival allergen challenge trials demonstrates that once-daily treatment with olopatadine 0.2% (Pataday, Alcon Laboratories) is equally effective for improving ocular itching caused by exposure to indoor or outdoor allergens.

Key Points

Dallas-Results of a pooled analysis including data from three clinical trials indicate that the benefit of once-a-day treatment with olopatadine 0.2% (Pataday, Alcon Laboratories) for relief of ocular itching due to allergic conjunctivitis extends beyond the management of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis to include patients with perennial allergic conjunctivitis. The analysis, which was presented in a poster here at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, was based on three independent, single-center, prospective, randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled, conjunctival allergen challenge trials conducted to evaluate the efficacy of olopatadine 0.2% for mitigating ocular itching induced by exposure to outdoor (ragweed, grass, trees) or indoor (cat hair/dander, dust mites) allergens. Subjects with a confirmed ocular allergic response to indoor or outdoor allergens were treated with olopatadine 0.2% or placebo and were challenged with a dose of allergen known to elicit symptoms.

Ocular itching was evaluated at successive visits to determine the efficacy of olopatadine when the allergen was given at onset of action or 16 hours after masked medication administration. Ocular itching severity was rated on a scale of 0 to 4 at 3, 10, and 20 minutes post-challenge.

Comparison of the results for patients challenged with the indoor allergens and those challenged with outdoor allergens showed that, after olopatadine treatment, no significant differences existed between the two groups in the mean changes from baseline ocular itching scores at any of the post-challenge assessments.

"The results of this analysis indicate that once-daily treatment with olopatadine 0.2% ophthalmic solution would work better than artificial tears in relieving ocular itching and is equally effective in relieving itching induced by indoor and outdoor allergens," he continued. "The study should remind allergists to ask patients about ocular symptoms, and the results give me the confidence to prescribe olopatadine 0.2% year-round, knowing it will benefit patients during pollen season and those suffering from perennial allergies."

Significant step

Mark B. Abelson, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, and clinical senior scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston, was a co-author of the clinical study.

"Olopatadine 0.2% provides rapid and sustained once-a-day activity across all of these studies, as well as relief of ocular itching, regardless of the type of allergen and regardless of the severity of the itching," he said. "This represents a significant step forward in the therapy of ocular allergy.

"The pre-clinical activity that originally caused us to select the olopatadine molecule has been confirmed by its safety and efficacy in the clinic and through tens of millions of prescriptions," Dr. Abelson said. "With the enhanced duration of the 0.2% solution, olopatadine continues to be a molecule based on its safety and effectiveness and has become the number one choice of ophthalmologists around the world."

The pooled analysis results reconfirmed the findings from the individual studies that show that olopatadine provided immediate and sustained allergy relief. Olopatadine was significantly more effective than placebo in reducing ocular itching at all time points, at both the onset of action evaluation and at the 16-hour post-dosing challenge. In addition, the reductions in ocular itching scores achieved at the 16-hour challenge were not significantly different from those measured at the onset of action study.