Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Immunosuppressive therapy for ocular diseases

Jap, Alizaa,b; Chee, Soon-Phaikb,c,d

Current Opinion in Ophthalmology: November 2008 - Volume 19 - Issue 6 - p 535–540
doi: 10.1097/ICU.0b013e3283126d20
Ocular manifestations of systemic disease: Edited by Russell W. Read

Purpose of review To identify advances in immunosuppressive therapy of ocular diseases since 2007.

Recent findings The biologics in current use include antitumour necrosis factor-α agents (infliximab, etanercept and adalimumab), cytokine receptor antibodies (daclizumab) and interferon-α2a. They are effective and comparatively well tolerated options in the treatment of refractory uveitis in both adults and children in the short term, except for etanercept. Daclizumab had a favourable outcome in treating birdshot chorioretinopathy but not in Behcet's disease. The uncertainty of their long-term results, their high costs as well as the necessity for repeated intravenous infusions in the case of infliximab limit their widespread use. Mycophenolate mofetil is another efficacious, fairly well tolerated and less costly immunosuppressant. It has the additional advantage of an oral formulation. T cell inhibitors, cyclosporine and tacrolimus, were found to be useful steroid-sparing drugs in allergic eye disease and dry eyes. A number of studies on less invasive sustained ocular drug delivery systems, including episcleral implants, nanospheres, and cyclodextrin particles, were conducted on animals with encouraging results.

Summary The armamentarium of immunosuppressive agents is constantly expanding and augurs well for the safe and effective treatment of ocular inflammation.

aDivision of Ophthalmology, Changi General Hospital, Singapore

bSingapore National Eye Centre, Singapore

cDepartment of Ophthalmology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore

dSingapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore

Correspondence to Soon-Phaik Chee, 11 Third Hospital Avenue, Singapore 168751, Singapore Tel: +65 62277255; fax: +65 6226 3395; e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.