We are grateful to the many colleagues who share with us each year their appreciation of this Clinical Guide to Ophthalmic Drugs. It is our honor to be a part of your lifelong learning process.
To all of you consistent, faithful readers, we apologize that every issue is not completely fresh information (only a very few new drugs come to market each year). You all are a solid core of attentive, interested clinicians, and we value your professionalism. However, many of our colleagues, like the authors, have to be exposed to information more than once before it effects a change in their clinical behavior. Furthermore, there are many new O.D.s entering the profession who can benefit from the core principles of medical management.
So, please bear with us as we do all we can to bring everyone up to speed.
• In 2010, the big news is that Xalatan is scheduled to lose patent protection in March 2011. This will rock the world of glaucoma patient care, and hopefully will be of huge benefit to our glaucoma patients.
• Valtrex (valacyclovir) and Famvir (famciclovir) have joined acyclovir in the generic camp. This also should be of benefit to many patients.
• A new drug is now available (ganciclovir), marketed as Zirgan by Sirion, and is approved for treatment of epithelial herpes simplex keratitis. Zirgan is likely to displace trifluoridine (Viroptic) from gold-standard status.
• Yet another antihistamine/mast-cell stabilizer, known as Bepreve (bepotastine, Ista Pharmaceuticals), has also come to market.
• Erythromycin, and several other ophthalmic ointments, are readily available again, and this is certainly welcome news.
• For the relatively few glaucoma patients needing an alpha-adrenergic agonist to help control their intraocular pressure, brimonidine 0.2% and 0.15% are now generically available. The 0.2% is the least expensive.
• In the even less frequently prescribed class of drugs, the carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, dorzolamide (Trusopt) is now available in generic form.
As always, we hope the information shared herein will help you better serve the needs of your patients.
Our very best wishes to each of you,
Randall K. Thomas, O.D., and Ron Melton, O.D.