There is nothing whatsoever new about pilocarpine.
Drug was just approved by FDA for use, yes or no?
Pilocarpine is used to treat dry mouth caused by radiotherapy in people with head and neck cancer and to treat dry mouth in people with Sjogren’s syndrome (a condition that affects the immune system and causes dryness of certain parts of the body such as the eyes and mouth).
Can’t find it used for eyes?
I read what it does and it’s definitely not a viable substitute for glasses. It constricts your pupils, which increases your eyes’ depth of field. However, that also dramatically reduces the amount of light entering your eyes, so you can’t drive or do other such activities at night when your using this stuff. You basically won’t be able to see anything.
There’s a simple way to simulate the effect. Take a piece of cardboard or something similar and poke a hole in it with a toothpick, ice pick or whatever you have handy. Put it up to your eye and look through the hole and you’ll be able to see things more clearly, provided there’s sufficient light. Then try it in a dimly lit room and you’ll quickly see the limitations of this approach.
Frankly, the way they’re advertising this is grossly misleading and potentially dangerous. I hope the FDA clamps down on them HARD before somebody gets seriously hurt.
FDA just approved it.
True, but they didn’t necessarily approve the way it’s being marketed. Come to think of it, that may be the FTC’s job. Their ad was effective enough to get me to look into it, but I wonder how many people will actually “read the fine print” and understand it.
Try it if you like, but knowing how it works, I wouldn’t touch the stuff.
I don’t need it, no glasses. Vision near perfect.
Pilocarpine ophthalmic has been around for a long time and has been commonly used in the treatment of glaucoma (ocular hypertension). It is a miotic agent that causes pupilary constriction which helps facilitate drainage of aqueous humor from the anterior chamber of the eye. It is a prescription drug.
Pilocarpine may have been used “off label” for the treatment of presbyopia for some time and just approved by the FDA for that usage. It might improve near visual acuity in the same way that looking through a pin hole can in folks with presbyopia but as bnystrom pointed out, that can have other consequences, particularly poor vision in dim light and the effect will be temporary. Headache has been a common side effect. I cannot imagine that this is a practical alternative to a pair of reading glasses or progressive lenses.
Here is a short blurb on the use of pilocarpine ophthalmic in the treatment of presbyopia:
It’s expensive and time consuming to make a whole new drug… Easier to just repurpose an old one (with an approval for a different condition), that way you get the profits with none of the work! There might be some specific situations where it would make sense to use this occasionally for improving close range vision (maybe) but I can’t see anyone wanting to use it regularly to avoid using glasses. It has so many side effects that it is usually bypassed for other drugs in treating glaucoma.
Um, no side effects from readers…
Try working in glasses while sweating.
I use readers to play violin, to sing, to do a number of other activities in masks, for a long time now. So including in hot weather.
Yes, I don’t tend to wear glasses when working out. But these other activities have gotten warm enough to soak a mask when it is hot enough. I do not do heat at all well.
It is not my fave thing and I will be glad of a time when we can lose the masks for a lot of stuff. But I don’t expect that to be for another year and until then can continue a peaceful coexistence with glasses and masks and sweat.
Pilocarpine ophthalmic solution has been around and used for many decades, primarily for the treatment of glaucoma. The potential side effects are well known and documented. Pilocarpine is a muscarinic cholinergic agonist and has the pharmacologic effects of all cholinergic agonists and the same potential side effects, even when used topically in the eye.
They include blurred or dim vision, poor night vision, stinging, burning, itching, redness ,tearing, or swelling of the eye, redness of the eyelids, and headache. In some instances pilocarpine can cause more serious side effects such as sweating, tremors, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, breathlessness, dizziness, or weakness.
There is no reason to believe that pilocarpine ophthalmic solution would not have the same potential side effects when used to treat presbyopia as opposed to glaucoma or dry mouth.
you do know you are arguing with a medical doctor, no?
For those who might be interested in trying pilocarpine ophthamic solution to treat their presbyopia here is an article discussing that use that is free of the marketing hyperbole that is being dispensed by the company which hopes to profit from it.
It includes a summary of the results of the phase 3 clinical trials that was submitted to the FDA along with the observed side effects. The phase 3 trials involved 750 individuals and included a placebo group. Assuming the placebo arm was of equal size the results are based on actual treatment of 375 individuals. Up to 15% in the treatment group reported headaches and eye pain, blurred vision, and conjunctival hyperemia (“red eye”) were also reported side effects. Furthermore, treated patients could lose up to 5 lines of distance vision and still be considered a treatment “success”.
I know the FDA approved it. I’m not arguing with anyone. I threw it out there I have zero need for glasses. I guess doctors approved it too.
Pblanc, the more I learn about this stuff the worse it sounds. I have a hard time believing that whatever nebulous benefit there may be outweighs the downsides. You have to wonder about the FDA; sometimes it seems like they’re more concerned with helping drug companies profit than with protecting the public.
So you are not using readers when you are sweaty anyway… your post sounded like you had tried this. And it was arguing.
I think this solution might have some appeal for treatment of presbyopia in relatively limited circumstances. Such as those farsighted individuals who need to work up close in fairly well-lit conditions for up to six hours at a time and are not able to wear contacts or glasses or don’t wish to. That is assuming they don’t have side effects, or can tolerate them, and can afford some sacrifice in night vision and possible decrease in distance visual acuity. Note that in the article I cited the effect peaks at one hour so presumably by six hours it might not have a lot of effect.
I do know individuals who were prescribed pilocarpine ophthalmic solution for glaucoma and were unable to take it due to significant side effects and narrby is quite correct in the statement that it is seldom used to treat glaucoma these days.
But as for being “a new eye drop” that is so much horse pucky. And as for being a “life changer” or a treatment that is going to “replace reading glasses” in significant numbers of people, well, wake me when Elvis gets here.
Just came out yesterday I didn’t try it.
Yes you can use reading in glasses doing tasks and sweat a lot.