Cyclodextrins in eye drop formulations: enhanced topical delivery of corticosteroids to the eye
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CitationActa Ophthalmol Scand. 2002, 80(2):144-50
AbstractCyclodextrins are cylindrical oligosaccharides with a lipophilic central cavity and hydrophilic outer surface. They can form water-soluble complexes with lipophilic drugs, which 'hide' in the cavity. Cyclodextrins can be used to form aqueous eye drop solutions with lipophilic drugs, such as steroids and some carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. The cyclodextrins increase the water solubility of the drug, enhance drug absorption into the eye, improve aqueous stability and reduce local irritation. Cyclodextrins are useful excipients in eye drop formulations of various drugs, including steroids of any kind, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, pilocarpine, cyclosporins, etc. Their use in ophthalmology has already begun and is likely to expand the selection of drugs available as eye drops. In this paper we review the properties of cyclodextrins and their application in eye drop formulations, of which their use in the formulation of dexamethasone eye drops is an example. Cyclodextrins have been used to formulate eye drops containing corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone, with levels of concentration and ocular absorption which, according to human and animal studies, are many times those seen with presently available formulations. Cyclodextrin-based dexamethasone eye drops are well tolerated in the eye and seem to provide a higher degree of bioavailability and clinical efficiency than the steroid eye drop formulations presently available. Such formulations offer the possibility of once per day application of corticosteroid eye drops after eye surgery, and more intensive topical steroid treatment in severe inflammation. While cyclodextrins have been known for more than a century, their use in ophthalmology is just starting. Cyclodextrins are useful excipients in eye drop formulations for a variety of lipophilic drugs. They will facilitate eye drop formulations for drugs that otherwise might not be available for topical use, while improving absorption and stability and decreasing local irritation.
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