Ophthalmologic Manifestations of Atopic Dermatitis Medication
- Author: R Scott Lowery, MD; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD more...
The most commonly used treatment strategies include antibiotics, corticosteroids, antihistamines, and, less commonly, immunosuppressives (other than steroids), UV light, and hospitalization (rare). For most cases of atopic dermatitis (without AKC), application of topical steroids to the affected area is usually sufficient. Eye involvement may be treated with topical steroids alone, or if symptoms persist, additional mast cell stabilizers (topical), and oral antihistamines (eg, over-the-counter diphenhydramine). AKC may require all of these, and some ophthalmologists recommend that an oral antibiotic be given in addition to a topical antibiotic for the affected eye(s). Antibiotic treatment should target S aureus, the most likely pathogen, and should be chosen based on the patient's allergies and compliance. Immunosuppressives, other than steroids, will only very rarely be required, and these likely will not be prescribed by the ophthalmologist.
As anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agents, corticosteroids are beneficial in treating atopic dermatitis. Dexamethasone, fluorometholone, hydrocortisone, and prednisolone are the most commonly available preparations of ophthalmic steroids in the United States. Preparations range from 0.05-2.5%. For most topical purposes, a 0.5% preparation of prednisolone, cortisone, or hydrocortisone is adequate.
Decreases inflammation by suppressing migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reducing capillary permeability.
Mast cell stabilizers
May be useful as prophylaxis against exacerbation of the disease.
Inhibits degranulation of mast cells and helps prevent histamine release.
Inhibits degranulation of sensitized mast cells following exposure to specific antigens.
Useful in decreasing itching and scratching associated with atopic dermatitis.
Antagonizes H1 receptors in periphery; may suppress histamine activity in subcortical region of CNS; may assist in sleep.
Atopic conjunctivitis requires the use of topical antibiotics that particularly target S aureus, the most common pathogen. Since most ophthalmic antibiotics will target this bacterium, physician discretion, reference to package inserts, and the ophthalmic Physicians' Desk Reference are recommended. Patients' allergies and compliance should be considered.
Fluoroquinolone with activity against streptococci, staphylococci, Corynebacterium propinquum, and Haemophilus influenzae; inhibits bacterial DNA synthesis and, consequently, growth.
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