Ochronosis and Alkaptonuria Medication

Updated: Feb 22, 2022
  • Author: Paul N Skiba; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

At the present state of knowledge, no medical therapy for ochronosis and alkaptonuria is available.

Nitisinone, a potent inhibitor of an enzyme in the tyrosine catabolic pathway, has been studied in this condition. The FDA has approved this drug for the treatment of tyrosinemia type 1. It significantly lowers the urinary excretion of homogentisic acid by inhibiting 4-hydrophenylpyruvate dioxygenase and, theoretically, would reduce homogentisic acid accumulation. In recent studies, biochemical parameters improved and the safety level was high, but clinical parameters were not affected. [45] Use of this drug should be investigated in younger individuals to perhaps help prevent the development of debilitating arthritis.

Additionally, a pilot study has looked at the use of antioxidants to counteract the production of melaninlike pigmentation and oxidative stress related to homogentisic acid and its metabolites. [46]