Xiidra – A New Treatment for Dry Eye Disease
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease, on Monday, July 11, 2016. Xiidra is the first medication in a new class of drugs, called lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1) antagonist, approved by the FDA for dry eye disease.
Dry eye disease includes a group of conditions in which the eye does not produce an adequate volume of tears or when the tears are not of the correct consistency. The chance of experiencing dry eye increases with age, affecting approximately five percent of the adult population age 30-40 and 10 to 15 percent of adults over age 65, and is more common among women. When severe and left untreated, this condition can lead to pain, ulcers or scars on the part of the eye called the cornea. Dry eye can make it more difficult to perform some activities, such as using a computer or reading for an extended period of time, and it can decrease tolerance for dry environments, such as the air inside an airplane.
Wills Eye Hospital is a leader in the treatment of dry eye disease. We treat patients for dry eye disease here in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware. Wills Eye doctors have been a part of the research and patients studies that are key for finding a treatment for dry eye disease.
Have you been diagnosed with Dry Eye? If yes and you want to get an appointment with one of our Dry Eye specialists, Click Here.
RAPUANO: Hi, I'm Christopher Rapuano, MD and I'm here with my partner, Parveen Nagra, MD. I'm the Chief of the Cornea Service at Wills Eye Hospital. We are coming to you from the Wills Eye Alumni Society Newsroom at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.
We’re here today because there's a new medication that was recently FDA approved for the treatment of dry eye syndrome. It's called Xiidra the generic is Lifitegrast and it's been in trials for a long time.
I would like to ask Parveen why is this a big deal? Why do we even care about this new medication? Don’t we have medications for dry eye?
NAGRA: Thanks Chris. Yes, this is a very big deal because dry eye is an enormous problem for many of our patients. Patients can be very symptomatic with dry eye with irritation, discomfort, redness, blurred vision. So they can be very symptomatic. We do have treatments that work, but there's always room for more. We have artificial tears. We do have an anti-inflammatory medicine Restasis, we can occasionally try different antibiotics or thicker lubricants, oral medications. But certainly there are patients for whom we are not adequately treating dry eyes, that remain symptomatic. So this is very promising for help for those patients.
RAPUANO: I agree. This is very exciting. This is the first FDA-approved prescription medication for dry eye since Restasis which was back in 2003 - over 12-13 years ago. So we're very very excited, all cornea specialists and ophthalmologists, that we have a new medication on the market.
Which patients do you think this might be used?
NAGRA: That's a good question, and I think we have lots of different patients for whom we can try this. Certainly patients for whom artificial tears are not enough. We have lots of patients who are on Restasis, and we have some patients who do well on Restasis, but maybe patients who failed Restasis. Patients who are okay on Restasis but maybe need something additional, and patients who can't tolerate Restasis or need something else. Patients who are more symptomatic. I think at this point, trying it on lots of our patients would be an approach that we'll have patients for whom they are symptomatic, they have lots symptoms and clinical signs of dry eyes.
RAPUANO: I agree completely. So I think this will be a big game changer in the treatment of dry eye. It was studied for numerous years, four different FDA trials, over a thousand patients. It’s a twice-a-day medication just like Restasis so it's pretty easy to use. And it was well tolerated in the studies, and there's a good effect on dryness in a statistically significant number of the patients in the study. We're very, very excited to have a new medication on the market which will hopefully help our dry eye patients. Dry eyes are common, it's more common as people get older, more common in women. We know our population's aging. There may even be this kind of computer eye use syndrome which kind of brings on dry eyes and makes it worse. I think there's a big potential for this.
Anything else you can think of?
NAGRA: I agree. I am very excited to start using it.
RAPUANO: Thank you very much. I am Chris Rapuano, MD and this is Parveen Nagra, MD. We are from the Cornea Service of Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, coming to you from the Wills Eye Alumni Society Newsroom. Thank you very much.