Newly available once-daily eye drop offers alternative to reading glasses

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Newly available once-daily eye drop offers alternative to reading glasses

The New York Times reports, “An eye drop” called Vuity (pilocarpine hydrochloride ophthalmic) that “improves close-range vision could make misplaced reading glasses less of an inconvenience for many of the 128 million Americans who suffer from” mild to moderate presbyopia.

According to Mayo Clinic, “Presbyopia is the gradual loss of your eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects. It’s a natural, often annoying part of aging.”

The Times adds, “The eye drop, which just became available by prescription, is a once-a-day treatment that can help users see up close without affecting their long-range vision.”

The drug “improves near vision by constricting the size of the pupil.” In a phase 3 study, “a single Vuity drop in each eye improved trial subjects’ close-range vision for six hours and improved their intermediate vision – important for computer work – for 10 hours.”

But the Prescriber’s Letter is giving health professionals cautions to consider:

Vuity’s formulation is touted to cause fewer side effects (eye pain, irritation, etc) than other pilocarpine drops. But there’s not good evidence to support this yet. Plus Vuity can cause headaches…like other pilocarpine drops.

Explain that Vuity helps more patients with presbyopia read a few more lines of decreasing font size on an eye chart. But be aware, Vuity is only likely to help patients with milder presbyopia…and data are mostly in patients age 40 to 55.

Point out other limitations:

  • Although Vuity can start working in about 15 minutes, any benefit tapers off by about 6 hours.
  • And so far, Vuity is only approved for once-daily use…not prn or repeat dosing.
  • Vuity may reduce night vision and limit night driving ability.
  • And Vuity has a warning about risk of retinal detachment…based on rare reports with other pilocarpine eye drops.

Generally steer patients toward reading glasses…not Vuity. Non-Rx reading glasses often cost less than $20…Vuity costs about $80/month, and most payers won’t cover it. Save Vuity for patients who prefer an eye drop over glasses. If you choose to prescribe Vuity, be sure patients are also getting regular eye exams to evaluate overall eye health.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2022. This blog provides healthcare tips and advice that you can trust about a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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