We have posted about the Ozurdex implant before and recently learned that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE – the body in the UK that provides guidance on what medications can and cannot be used here) has recommended Ozurdex drug-infused eye implant (made by the pharmaceutical Allergan) for the treatment of macular oedema.
Macular oedema is inflammation and a build-up of fluid in the macula caused by blockage in a retinal vein (this blockage in the retinal vein is known as RVO – retinal vein occlusion). Macular oedema is the leading cause of vision loss in people with RVO.
The Ozurdex implant contains a steroid called dexamethasone, which is slowly released into the eye to control the oedema (the fluid build-up), reduce inflammation around the RVO and therefore improve vision.
It is implanted with a specially-designed applicator and can last up to 6 months.
Ozurdex has proved very promising for macular oedema and Allergan are now conducting trials to see if it can also effectively treat wet age-related macular degeneration.
As macular oedema is one of the possible complications of Birdshot, it would seem that these implants could soon become a better way of treating this sight threatening problem. We know of at least two of our members who are currently being offered these implants as a way of treating their macula oedema.
Mr Ian Pearce, Consultant Ophthalmologist and the Clinical Expert representative of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, said: “The availability of a licensed, effective and now NICE recommended treatment is a significant step forward for management of RVO patients in England and Wales and we look forward to ophthalmologists providing the treatment as soon as possible.”
For more information, visit Allergan’s Ozurdex website: www.ozurdex.com where there is a link to frequently asked questions about the Ozurdex implant.