Glaucoma management: relative value and place in therapy of available drug treatments.
Lowering intraocular pressure (IOP) is the only proven therapeutic intervention for glaucomatous optic neuropathy. Despite advances in laser and microsurgical techniques, medical IOP reduction remains the first-line treatment option for the majority of patients with open-angle glaucoma. Prostaglandin analogs are the most efficacious topical agents and carry a remarkable safety profile. Topical beta-blockers, alpha-agonists, and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors are often employed as adjunctive agents for further IOP control. Newer preserved and nonpreserved formulations are available and appear to be less toxic to the ocular surface. Oral carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, miotic agents, and hyperosmotics are infrequently used due to a host of potentially serious adverse events. Medical therapies on the horizon include rho-kinase inhibitors, neuroprotective interventions, and gene therapies.
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