In July, the FDA approved a new treatment, named Xiidra as a treatment for dry eye disease. Dry eye disease is a condition where a person does not produce enough lubrication to keep the eye healthy. Xiidra is the first treatment to be approved in a new drug classification designated lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 antagonist.
Dry Eye Disease
Dry eye disease is found most commonly in older adults, although it can begin at any age. Women are more likely to suffer from the condition than men. The liquid in tears is a complex combination of fatty oils, water, and mucus. They work together to keep the surface of the eye clear and smooth and protects against infection.
The two main causes of dry eye disease are inadequate tear production and an imbalance in the composition of the tears. There are several things that can lead to decreased tear production, including advanced age, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, lupus, medications, Parkinson’s disease, eye surgery, and damage to the tear gland as a result of radiation or inflammation. The composition of the tears can be altered if there is an issue with one of the three liquids.
If left untreated, dry eye disease can result in severe pain and eventually scars or ulcers on the cornea. It may also cause more frequent eye infections and a decrease in the overall quality of life as it becomes more difficult to perform routine activities.
Xiidra is a solution that is administered twice daily as an eye drop, about 12 hours apart. It is indicated for adults who are suffering from dry eye disease, and is the only prescription product indicated for both the symptoms and signs of the condition. Shire, the manufacturer of Xiidra, expects a release in the third quarter of the year.
The safety of the product was tested in four separate randomized studies with patients between the ages of 19 and 97, 76% of which were female. The most common side effects associated with using Xiidra include eye discomfort, blurred vision, eye irritation, and an unusual taste.
The media coverage of the new treatment has been significant enough to garner notice by the general public. Many patients who have been self-medicating with over the counter eye drops may be interested in learning more about the new product. Patients are encouraged to talk to their doctor and pharmacist to find out if Xiidra is right for them.