Daily Health Headlines

Immune-Based Drug May Ease Chronic Eye Condition

👤by Steven Reinberg 0 comments 🕔Thursday, September 8th, 2016

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- People with chronic eye inflammation known as uveitis may be able to keep the condition at bay with the immune-suppressing drug Humira (adalimumab), a new study finds.

"Humira doesn't cure uveitis, but it does cause it to become quiet," said lead researcher Dr. Glenn Jaffe. He's a professor of ophthalmology at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., and a consultant for Humira's maker, AbbVie.

"The hope is while the disease is in a quiet state, the disease activity just burns itself out -- but it can also come back," he said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Humira for the treatment of uveitis in June.

The results of the study were published Sept. 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was funded by AbbVie.

Uveitis -- a term used to describe a group of inflammatory diseases inside the eye -- can cause loss of vision and potentially lead to blindness, Jaffe explained. The condition may also be painful, he said.

Uveitis happens to about 40 people in 100,000 and tends to occur when patients are in their 20s to 40s, according to Jaffe.

The current standard treatment for uveitis is corticosteroids. But this treatment comes with a significant risk of side effects, the researchers said. Side effects may include weight gain, mood changes, fatigue, acne and more, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Humira reduces inflammation by blocking proteins that cause inflammation, Jaffe said.

One concern with Humira is an increased chance of infections. For this reason, doctors need to be sure patients don't have tuberculosis or multiple sclerosis before taking the drug, he said.

When the inflammation is quiet, patients are usually treated for about two years. "If the eye is quiet over that time, we will consider to start tapering the treatment to see is the disease has burned itself out," said Jaffe.

"This is the first time that we have an FDA-approved drug other than steroids to treat uveitis," he stated.

For this phase 3 trial, Jaffe and colleagues randomly assigned more than 200 patients with uveitis to Humira or an inactive placebo. Patients given the drug received an initial dose of 80 milligrams followed by 40 milligrams every two weeks.

Patients were also given an initial dose of the steroid prednisone, which was decreased over 15 weeks.

The researchers found that people receiving Humira were less likely to experience flare-ups of uveitis than those on placebo.

Among those taking Humira, the average time to a flare-up with the condition was 24 weeks, compared with 13 weeks for those taking the placebo, the investigators found.

During the study, researchers looked for signs of returning inflammation.

"Humira decreased the percentage of people by about half who had a flare-up of inflammation," Jaffe said.

"Among patients who had a flare-up, it delayed the time to flare-up and it also prevented flare-ups to a significantly greater extent than placebo," he said.

In addition, those taking Humira had significantly fewer vision problems than those taking placebo, the study authors reported.

According to Dr. Mark Fromer, an ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, "Humira effectively achieved disease control after stopping steroid treatment." Fromer was not involved with the study but was familiar with the findings.

"Further investigation into alternative therapies for uveitic disease is necessary to attempt to save the sight of the many patients that suffer from this sight-threatening group of diseases," Fromer said.

Article Credits / Source

Steven Reinberg / HealthDay

Steven Reinberg wrote this story for HealthDay. HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCES: Glenn Jaffe, M.D., professor, ophthalmology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C.; Mark Fromer, M.D., ophthalmologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Sept. 8, 2016, New England Journal of Medicine

View More Articles From Steven Reinberg 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Eyesight Articles

Doctors Use iPads to Treat 'Lazy Eye,' With Mixed Results

Doctors Use iPads to Treat 'Lazy Eye,' With Mixed Results0

THURSDAY, Nov. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Does playing video games on an iPad work better than standard eye-patching for improving vision in children with lazy eye? Two new studies in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology reach seemingly ...

Some Primates Have Vision Troubles as They Age

Some Primates Have Vision Troubles as They Age0

TUESDAY, Nov. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Just like humans, some primates start having difficulty seeing things up close as they age. Researchers reviewed photos of 14 wild bonobos as they groomed each other. The primates were between 11 and 45 ...

Paintball Causes Many Vision-Robbing Eye Injuries

Paintball Causes Many Vision-Robbing Eye Injuries0

THURSDAY, Nov. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Paintball guns pose the greatest risk of vision loss among the sports most commonly associated with eye injuries, a new study finds. Basketball, cycling and baseball injuries to the eye occur more ...

Health Tip: Are Your Screens Causing Eye Strain?

Health Tip: Are Your Screens Causing Eye Strain?0

(HealthDay News) -- Staring at your TV, computer, smart phone or tablet can cause a problem known as computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain. The American Optometric Association says to watch for these warning signs: Feeling that ...

Mediterranean Diet, Caffeine May Be Good for Your Eyes

Mediterranean Diet, Caffeine May Be Good for Your Eyes0

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Eating a Mediterranean diet and consuming caffeine may lower your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness, according to a new study. Previous ...

View More Eyesight Articles


Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!