While loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic gel 0.5% (LE gel) is approved for treatment of postoperative ocular inflammation and pain, there have been no reported studies in patients undergoing laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) or photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).
This was a retrospective chart review conducted at five refractive surgical centers in the USA. Data were collected from primary LASIK or PRK surgery cases in which LE gel was used postoperatively as the clinician's routine standard of care and in which patients were followed-up for up to 6 months. Data extracted from charts included patient demographics, surgical details, LE gel dosing regimen, pre- and postsurgical refractive characteristics, intraocular pressure (IOP) measurements, and visual acuity. Primary outcomes included postoperative IOP elevations, adverse events, and early discontinuations.
Data were collected on 189 LASIK eyes (96 patients) and 209 PRK eyes (108 patients). Mean (standard deviation [SD]) years of age at surgery was 36.0 (11.7) and 33.9 (11.3) in LASIK and PRK patients. LE gel was prescribed most often four times daily during the first postoperative week, regardless of procedure; the most common treatment duration was 7-14 days in LASIK and ≥30 days in PRK patients. No unusual corneal findings or healing abnormalities were reported. Mean postoperative uncorrected distance visual acuity was 20/24 in LASIK and 20/30 in PRK eyes. Mild/trace corneal haze was reported in 20% of PRK patients; two PRK patients with moderate/severe corneal haze were switched to another corticosteroid. Mean postoperative IOP did not increase over time in either LASIK or PRK eyes (P≥0.331); clinically significant elevations from baseline in IOP (≥10 mmHg) were noted in only three eyes of two PRK patients.
LE gel appears to have a high level of safety and tolerability when used for the management of postoperative pain and inflammation following LASIK and PRK surgery.