Sodium cromoglycate eye drops: Regular versus “as needed” use in the treatment of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis
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OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy and side effects of sodium cromoglycate eye drops (Opticrom 2%) used regularly versus as needed in the treatment of seasonal (ragweed) allergic conjunctivitis. METHODS: A randomized, unblinded, parallel group comparison was performed during the 6 weeks of the ragweed pollen season. Sixty-two adults with ragweed pollen-induced conjunctivitis were recruited for the study from previous ragweed studies and notices in the local media. Two drops of sodium cromoglycate were placed in each eye either four times daily (regular treatment group) or when needed, up to four times daily (prn group), from 1 week before and throughout the ragweed pollen season. Uncontrolled eye symptoms were treated with terfenadine 60 mg as needed, up to 120 mg daily. Subjects kept daily diaries for symptoms and medication requirements throughout the 6 weeks of treatment. The Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire was administered and adverse experiences were reported after 1, 3, and 6 weeks of treatment. RESULTS: Diary eye symptoms were similar in the two treatment groups, but quality of life was better in the regular treatment group. There was a trend for the prn group to require more terfenadine for uncontrolled eye symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: There may be some additional therapeutic benefit from using sodium cromoglycate eye drops regularly throughout the ragweed pollen season.