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C. G. Connor; The Use of Progesterone Cream to Treat Dry Eye. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):378.
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It is becoming apparent that dry eye is an inflammatory condition and clinical treatment is beginning to reflect that observation. Unfortunately long term use of corticosteroids to treat dry eye is presently not a viable solution due to side effects. The progesterone receptor and corticosteroid receptor share regions of high homology, particularly within the DNA-binding domain of the steroid hormone receptor family. Based on this cross-reactivity, this study examines the effects of 15% progesterone cream on dry eye symptoms.
Thirty-two dry eye patients: 6 males and 26 females with an average age of 36.6yrs and an age range of 23 to 74 yrs were enrolled in this study. Baseline data collected was TBUT, Schirmer, IOP, and OSDI questionnaires. After applying the progesterone cream to the eyelids twice a day for 3 weeks the same tests were repeated. Statistical significance was determined by a two tail t-test.
Baseline TBUT was 5.57+/-2.44 seconds and increased after cream use to 7.33 +/-3.72 and this difference was statistically significant at the p=0.05 level. The Schirmer test results showed an increase but it was not statistically significant (11.6+/-6.8 mm to 13.78 +/- 8.18). No change in IOP was noted over the 3 week treatment period 14.198 +/- 3.4 baseline and post- treatment 14.08 +/- 3.24. The OSDI score reflected symptomatic improvement of 29% going from 31.65 to 24.52.
The study suggests the anti-inflammatory properties of progesterone could be useful to relieve dry eye symptoms. It is worth noting that progesterone cream was able to relieve symptoms in a larger population of dry eye sufferers than testosterone. Testosterone cream benefits are mainly limited to menopausal females.
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