Aim and objective: Evaluate the short-term safety and efficacy of dexmedetomidine (0.0055%) drops on intraocular pressure (IOP) in healthy eyes.
Materials and methods: In this randomized controlled trial, patients with normal eye exams were randomly assigned to receive, in a randomly selected eye, one drop of either balanced salt solution (BSS) or dexmedetomidine (0.0055%). Goldmann applanation tonometry was performed at baseline and then 30 minutes, 4 hours, and 24 hours after drop instillation.
Results: Forty-nine eyes of 49 normal volunteers were enrolled in the study, with 21 eyes (group I) receiving BSS and 28 (group II) dexmedetomidine. Both groups were comparable at baseline as far as age and IOP (p = 0.55 for both parameters). Intraocular pressure significantly decreased from baseline in group II at 30 minutes and 4 hours (p = 0.001 and 0.05, respectively). Maximum IOP decrease was obtained at 30 minutes after dexmedetomidine instillation, with a 9% decrease from baseline (mean decrease: 1.15 mm Hg). The percentage of IOP decrease was significantly higher in group II at 30 minutes compared with group I (9 vs 1.1%; p = 0.05). No side effects were recorded.
Conclusion: In this pilot study, dexmedetomidine 0.0055% drops have shown good safety and efficacy in lowering IOP in normal healthy volunteers with no history of glaucoma. This medication has a short onset of action, with a 10% reduction of IOP occurring 30 minutes post-instillation.
Trial registration number: NCT03690622.
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