Medication beats implants in extended uveitis study

New research finds severe uveitis patients respond better to long-term treatment with oral medication than regional therapies


Treating severe uveitis with oral corticosteroids and immunosuppression resulted in better long-term vision than regional therapy in research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association

Researchers examined the long-term impact of the two treatment approaches for patients with vision-threatening uveitis. 

They reported on a multi-centre uveitis study involving 215 patients at 21 medical centres in the UK, US and Australia. 

Scientists found that after seven years patients receiving systemic treatment with oral corticosteroids and immunosuppression had better vision on average than those who received regional therapy through a fluocinolone acetonide implant. 

However, both groups had similar vision when they first started the treatment and at the five-year mark. 

Results of the seven-year study found fewer ocular side effects resulted from treatment with oral medication and, apart from a higher use of antibiotics, there was no significant increase in systemic side effects. 

“The implication of this data is that oral corticosteroids and immunosuppression may be a preferable initial choice for therapy of the more severe uveitides,” study author Dr Douglas Jabs concluded.