Durysta Implant(for Glaucoma)

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Last updated 9/2/2020

Durysta, an exciting new glaucoma treatment

Durysta

The Dursta™️ implant is smaller than the "I" in "LIBERTY" on a dime. (dime enlarged to show detail)

Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in the United States. Unfortunately, because many patients with open-angle glaucoma don’t experience symptoms, they may not be aware that they have the disease.

 

A big challenge in managing open-angle glaucoma (OAG) and ocular hypertension (OHT) has been getting patients to comply with taking medicated eye drops essential for managing intraocular pressure (IOP).

 

In fact, 80% of glaucoma patients do not use their prescribed topical drops as instructed, either due to side effects or forgetfulness. That is why the Durysta the Dursta™️ implant was invented.

There are several reasons for Glaucoma eye drop non-compliance:

  • Having difficulty inserting the eye drops properly, resulting in spilled medication and under-dosing
  • Forgetting to insert your eye drops at the scheduled time
  • Forgetting to carry eye drops with you to maintain your dosing schedule while away from home
  • Being allergic to the pressure reducing eye drops or the preservatives within the medication
  • Having side effects, such as dry eye, from the pressure-lowering eye drops
  • Having eye conditions that disqualify you from being a candidate for pressure-lowering eye drops

Fortunately, for these patients, there’s exciting glaucoma news: the FDA just approved a treatment that will enable patients to manage their eye pressure without having to depend on topical eye drops.

What is Durysta?

Durysta is a breakthrough in the treatment of open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension that just obtained FDA approval. Durysta (made by Allergan) will be a game-changer for those patients who have difficulty taking daily medicated eye drops for glaucoma because it frees patients from having to apply drops altogether.

 

How does Durysta work?

Dr. Sodhi Gau discusses the benefits of Durysta.

Durysta is the first biodegradable sustained-release implant that continuously delivers Bimatoprost, a prostaglandin analog, within the eye that helps reduce and maintain healthy eye pressure levels. The preservative-free medication is housed within a tiny rod-shaped cartridge that is inserted in the eye’s anterior chamber by an ophthalmologist during a safe 5-minute office procedure.

The implant comes pre-loaded with 10 mcg of Bimatoprost in a single-use applicator that your ophthalmologist uses to inject the implant directly into the front nasal side of your eye. This means that the drug delivery system is a one-time use sterile applicator used on you and you alone; an important consideration during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bimatoprost implant is biodegradable and breaks down naturally over time, so you do not require another procedure to remove the delivery system. It simply dissolves and is eliminated by your body. In fact, most patients continue to have controlled intraocular pressure levels even after Durysta has broken down.

 

How long does Durysta last?

The great news for patients with open-angle glaucoma (OAG) and ocular hypertension (OHT) is that the Durysta implant is designed to last up to 6 months, which means that you will only have to follow-up with your eye doctor two or possibly three times per year to have the medication implant inserted in your eye.

Meanwhile, you’ll be free of having to deal with inserting eye drops and worrying about whether the correct amount of medication actually got into your eye.

 

Who is a candidate for Durysta?

Durysta is indicated for people diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension. That said, not everyone is an ideal candidate for Durysta and it is contraindicated under the following circumstances:

  • If you have an infection within or surrounding your eye
  • If you have undergone a corneal transplant
  • If you are diagnosed with corneal endothelial cell dystrophy
  • If your posterior lens capsule is ruptured or absent
  • If you are allergic to bimatoprost or to the components of the implant

 

What are the side effects of Durysta?

As with any medication, clinical trials have shown that some people can experience side effects from Durysta. However, the interesting thing about the Durysta trials was that patients who were randomized to receive Durysta actually experienced FEWER side effects than the control group patients taking standard glaucoma eye drops.

“It’s highly unusual for a new medication to exhibit fewer side effects than the standard medicine it’s being compared to, but that’s exactly what happened with Durysta. The Durysta patients had fewer complaints and tolerated the medication better than the patients using traditional glaucoma eye drops. Fewer side effects and better eye pressure control makes for a compelling argument to consider switching to Durysta” says AEI’s Glaucoma specialist Dr. Avneet Sodhi Gaur.

Some adverse events for Durysta patients can include:

  • Eye redness
  • Eye irritation
  • Eye pain
  • A foreign body sensation within the eye
  • Light sensitivity (photophobia)
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Conjunctival hemorrhage
  • Iritis
  • Increased intraocular pressure

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Also, the safety of taking Durysta during pregnancy has not been studied. Dr. Sodhi Gaur can provide more detailed medical advice about any side effects.

AEI’s glaucoma specialist voted one of Los Angeles’ Best Ophthalmologists

Named one of Los Angeles’ Top Doctors for 2020, Dr. Avneet K. Sodhi Gaur is a Board Certified, Fellowship trained Cataract, LASIK, and Glaucoma Specialist, with training and experience developed at nationally renowned ophthalmic institutions, including Tufts Medical Center/New England Eye Center and Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston-Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary.

 

Dr. Sodhi Gaur has extensive experience in conventional glaucoma surgical procedures, such as trabeculectomy and glaucoma drainage implants. She also performs state-of-the-art minimally invasive glaucoma procedures including endocycloph.

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