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Ocular hypotensive efficacy and safety of a combined formulation of betaxolol and pilocarpine.

Author(s): Robin AL

Affiliation(s): School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA.

Publication date & source: 1996, Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc., 94:89-101; discussion 101-3.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

PURPOSE: To evaluate the ocular hypotensive efficacy and safety of a fixed combination of betaxolol (0.25%) and pilocarpine (1.75%). METHODS: Three multicenter, double-masked, parallel trials were completed in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension of 3 months' treatment duration. Studies 1 and 2 were three-arm comparisons of betaxolol, pilocarpine, and a fixed combination, each used 3 times daily. Study 3 was a two-arm study of the fixed combination with and without a surfactant, used twice daily. In all studies, there was a 1-month runin period with betaxolol 0.25% suspension given twice daily. There were 182 patients in Study 1, 186 patients in Study 2, and 166 patients in Study 3. RESULTS: In all 3 studies, approximately 10% to 15% of patients treated with pilocarpine or the combination therapy were terminated from further participation because of typical pilocarpine side effects (eg, blurred vision, headache). In studies 1 and 2, there was a mean reduction in intraocular pressure from a betaxolol baseline of approximately 3 to 4 mmHg. Patients continuing on betaxolol alone or randomly assigned to pilocarpine alone experienced a mean reduction of 1 to 2 mm Hg. Overall, the combination was approximately 2 mmHg more effective than either betaxolol or pilocarpine alone. In Study 3, the two betaxolol combinations had equivalent efficacy. CONCLUSION: In patients requiring more than one ocular hypotensive agent, the combination of betaxolol and pilocarpine in a single formulation appears to be an effective and relatively safe agent. The use of this combination agent promises the potential for enhanced patient convenience.

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