SAN DIEGO, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Data from a new study to evaluate the efficacy of epinastine (HCl 0.05%) were presented today at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Epinastine is the most recent addition to a new generation of ocular allergy treatments that features a multi-action mechanism consisting of topical ophthalmic antihistamine, with mast cell-stabilizing and anti-inflammatory properties.
"Ocular allergy affects approximately 22 million Americans. Symptoms such as itching, redness, and swelling often cause significant discomfort and in some cases can lead to severe complications and even blindness," said lead researcher Dr. Mitchell H. Friedlaender, Head of the Division of Ophthalmology and Director of the Laser Vision Center at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, CA. "Due to its unique mechanism of action, epinastine not only reduced symptoms of discomfort, but also appearance-related symptoms, which often impact patients' daily activities and self esteem."
The single-center, randomized study used the conjunctival allergen challenge model (CAC), and examined 30 women 18-75 years old, who had a history of allergic conjunctivitis.
In the onset efficacy evaluation, instilling epinastine five minutes prior to allergen challenge provided significant relief of itching and redness (erythema) compared with vehicle. In the duration of efficacy assessment, epinastine relieved itching for at least 12 hours after treatment. Using advanced medical imaging technology that highlights changes in facial topography, epinastine was shown to prevent swelling (edema) visibly.
Recent advances in the treatment of ocular allergy have led to the development of innovative therapies such as epinastine that target multiple phases of the allergic cascade. This multi-action treatment not only blocks release of histamine, but also stabilizes mast cells, thereby preventing inflammation, a critical component of allergy treatment. Data suggest that epinastine's mechanism of action features a greater affinity for H2 receptors than other antihistamine/mast cell stabilizers and since H2 receptors are more commonly found on blood vessels than H1 receptors, epinastine could potentially be more effective in the relief of swelling than other dual-action agents.
About Ocular Allergy and Conjunctivitis
Ocular allergy symptoms are present when the body's immune system becomes highly sensitized to various allergens and the patient's immune system over-reacts, causing a "cascading effect" which then leads to long-lasting symptoms -- known as allergic conjunctivitis.
While ocular allergy is considered to be a nuisance, allergic conjunctivitis can be debilitating for many patients. In extreme cases, certain inflammatory proteins are released as the body's immune system continues to react. Over time, these proteins can cause ulcers to form in the cornea.
It is estimated that 80 million Americans suffer from allergies. Ocular allergy patients make up approximately one-quarter of all allergy sufferers. Ocular allergy symptoms are often caused by exposure to many of the same allergens that affect the respiratory system, including the sinuses, nose and lungs.
Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, the most serious manifestation of ocular allergy, is caused by airborne pollen which is exacerbated by air pollution, cigarette smoke, certain foods, mold, pet allergens, insects and even chemicals found in clothing and fragrances. When an allergen comes in contact with the eyes, tissue cells release a number of chemicals, including histamine -- a chemical produced in reaction to a substance that the immune system cannot tolerate.
About The Scripps Clinic Division of Ophthalmology
Mitchell Friedlaender, M.D., is Head of the Division of Ophthalmology and Director of the Laser Vision Center at Scripps Clinic. One of nine divisions of the Department of Surgery at Scripps, the Division of Ophthalmology is engaged in the treatment of various eye diseases and conditions affecting eyesight. As part of Scripps Clinic's commitment to the enhancement and preservation of eyesight for its patients, the Division is engaged in various clinical research interests including clinical trials for the treatment of glaucoma, allergy, and dry eye syndrome, as well as participation in multi-specialty clinical studies regarding the ophthalmologic effects of diabetes, liver disease and transplantation, and inflammatory bowel disease.
About Scripps Clinic
Founded in 1924, Scripps Clinic is a multi-specialty, outpatient care facility serving patients at multiple locations throughout San Diego County. Scripps Clinic and its physicians are world-renowned for research-driven care and medical specialty expertise and is an operating unit of Scripps Health, a not-for-profit, community-based health care delivery network that includes more than 2,600 affiliated physicians, five acute-care hospitals, home health care and associated support services. Scripps Health is one of the largest health care organizations in San Diego County, drawing from the expertise of more than 10,000 health care professionals.