In vitro release of two anti-muscarinic drugs from soft contact lenses
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the release of the anti-myopia drugs atropine sulfate and pirenzepine dihydrochloride from commercially available soft contact lenses. Standard ultraviolet (UV) absorbance-concentration curves were generated for atropine and pirenzepine. Ten commercially available contact lenses, including four multifocal lenses, were loaded by soaking in atropine or pirenzepine solutions at two different concentrations (10 mg/mL and 1 mg/mL). The release of the drugs into phosphate-buffered saline was determined over the course of 24 hours at 34°C using UV absorbance. Materials with surface charge released the greatest amount of atropine when loaded with either concentration when compared to the other lens types (p<0.05), releasing upward of 1.026±0.035 mg/lens and 0.979±0.024 mg/lens from etafilcon A and ocufilcon A, respectively. There were no significant differences in the amount of atropine or pirenzepine released from the multifocal and non-multifocal lenses made from the same lens materials. Narafilcon A material demonstrated prolonged release of up to 8 hours when loaded with pirenzepine, although the overall dose delivered from the lens into the solution was among the lowest of the materials investigated. The rest of the lenses reached a plateau within 2 hours of release, suggesting that they were unable to sustain drug release into the solution for long periods of time. Given that no single method of myopia control has yet shown itself to be completely effective in preventing myopia progression, a combination of optical and pharmaceutical devices comprising a drug delivering contact lens presents a novel solution that warrants further investigation.
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