Intraocular pressure elevation from topical difluprednate use

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Introduction: Difluprednate ophthalmic emulsion 0.05% (Durezol™, Alcon, Fort Worth, Texas) is a topical difluorinated derivative of prednisolone with potent anti-inflammatory activity. Difluprednate 0.05% has a reported associated increase in intraocular pressure (IOP) in 3% of patients. Although the occurrence may be low, the possible elevation in IOP may be substantially higher than commonly encountered with other topical steroids. Case Reports: A 49-year-old black man presented with a traumatic anterior uveitis recalcitrant to traditional prednisolone acetate 1% treatment. The patient was switched to difluprednate 0.05% in an attempt to better control the ocular inflammation. Although the patient did not exhibit an IOP response after 4 weeks of treatment with prednisolone acetate 1%, he did experience a pressure response within 2 weeks of initiating difluprednate treatment, resulting in an IOP increase from 9 mmHg to 48 mmHg with subsequent microcystic edema.A 44-year-old black woman presented with recurrent scleritis resistant to topical prednisolone acetate, loteprednol etabonate, and oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory therapy. Topical loteprednol 0.5% was replaced by difluprednate 0.05%. All evidence of ocular inflammation was eradicated with the changed therapy. IOP rose in the difluprednate-treated eye from 18 mmHg to 34 mmHg over the course of 18 days. In both cases, the IOP elevation was managed rapidly with the discontinuation of difluprednate and temporary use of IOP-reducing agents with no lasting adverse effects. Conclusion: Difluprednate 0.05% is a new topical therapeutic option indicated for the treatment of inflammation and pain management associated with ocular surgery with an off-label potential for treatment of other anterior segment inflammatory conditions. However, clinicians need to be aware of the potential risk for significant and potentially rapid onset of IOP increase with this medication and manage patients accordingly. © 2010 American Optometric Association.




Meehan, K., Vollmer, L., & Sowka, J. (2010). Intraocular pressure elevation from topical difluprednate use. Optometry, 81(12), 658–662.

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