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Preservatives for Ocular Drug Delivery System

P M Kale


Most challenge faced today is in ocular drug delivery. Topical eye drop is the most convenient and patient compliant route of drug administration, especially for the treatment of anterior segment diseases. Delivery of drugs to the targeted ocular tissues is restricted by various precorneal, dynamic and static ocular barriers. Also, therapeutic drug levels are not maintained for longer duration in target tissues. In the past two decades, ocular drug delivery research acceleratedly advanced towards developing a novel, safe and patient compliant formulation and drug delivery devices/techniques, which may surpass these barriers and maintain drug levels in tissues. The use of preservatives in eye drops (eyewashes) has known glory at the beginning, but the side effects that they have on the ocular surface have led to a decrease of their popularity. Lachrymal film dysfunction, ocular hyperemia, dotted keratitis or toxic keratopathy were reported and analyzed in terms of pathophysiological mechanism of the role played by preservatives in ophthalmic drops (eyewashes). This article reviews the most common preservatives and the existing alternatives for the maintenance of the eye sterile drops. Recent developments with other ocular drug delivery strategies employing in situ gels, implants, contact lens and microneedles have been studied.


Keywords: preservatives, eye drops, ocular surface, Anatomy and physiology, Cornea, Drug delivery, Formulations.

Cite this Article

P.M. Kale. Preservatives for Ocular Drug Delivery System. Trends in Drug Delivery. 2020; 7(3): 1–5p.

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