Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of once-daily systemic treatment of ocular rosacea with a slow-release form of 40 mg of doxycycline.
Methods: Fifteen patients with ocular rosacea were enrolled between February 2010 and October 2012 in a retrospective observational case series. Patient complaints and clinical findings including blepharitis with telangiectasia and meibomian gland dysfunction, conjunctival redness, and fluorescein staining of the cornea were evaluated. The ocular manifestations were scored as follows: 0—absent, 1—mild, 2—moderate, and 3—severe. All measurements were repeated at the 6-week follow-up visit. The mean duration of treatment was 8 months (range, 5–12 months), and the mean duration of the follow-up was 9 months (range, 6–17 months).
Results: At the baseline visit, 73.3% of the patients had severe complaints, and 80% had severe blepharitis despite topical therapy with artificial tears and eyelid hygiene. After 12 weeks of systemic therapy, severe complaints and blepharitis strongly improved and were seen in only 13.3% and 20% of the patients (P = 0.01). Follow-up investigations 6 to 17 months after discontinuation of the treatment showed further significant improvement of complaints (absent or mild in 66.7% and 20% of the patients, respectively) and blepharitis (absent or mild in 26.7% and 60% of the patients, respectively). One patient had a mild stomach ache so that therapy was shortened to 5 months.
Conclusions: An antiinflammatory dose of slow-release doxycycline 40 mg given daily may be an effective and safe therapy of ocular rosacea.