Researchers recently found that daily topical 0.01% atropine effectively reduced the magnitude of initial near work-induced transient myopia (NITM) in Chinese children.

This randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study evaluated 176 patients, 82.4% of who completed the 14-day treatment evaluation. Participants were randomly divided into the 0.5% hydroxypropyl-methylcellulose-treated group (control group) or 0.01% atropine-treated group. The team recorded pulse rate, respiration rate, IOP, pupil diameter and initial NITM magnitude at baseline and on days seven and 14 of treatment. They also monitored ocular discomfort and adverse effects.

The investigators did not observe a difference in the magnitude of initial NITM between the control and study groups at baseline but discovered lower magnitudes in patients on atropine at days seven (-0.11±0.227D) and 14 (0.076±0.183D) after treatment initiation.

While there were no serious complications, they noted significantly larger pupil diameters on days seven and 14 in the study group. They added that the minimal pupil dilation induced by treatment was acceptable.

“Low-concentration atropine may be useful in clinical settings as treatment for young patients with NITM,” the study authors concluded.

Guo L, Fan L, Tao J, et al. Use of topical 0.01% atropine for controlling near work-induced transient myopia: a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled study. J Ocul Pharm Ther. December 3, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].