May 2003
Volume 44, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2003
Treatment of Dry Eye with a Transdermal 3% Testosterone Cream
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • C.G. Connor
    Optometry, Southern College of Optometry, Memphis, TN, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  C.G. Connor, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  none
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2003, Vol.44, 2450. doi:
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      C.G. Connor; Treatment of Dry Eye with a Transdermal 3% Testosterone Cream . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):2450.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract: : Purpose:Sullivan and colleagues have shown androgens play a key role in regulating the function of both the lacrimal and meibomian glands. Previous work from our laboratory has shown that androgenic supplemented artificial tears were effective in relieving the symptoms of dry eye. The poor solubility of androgens resulted in considerable irritation and poor patient compliance. The present study employs transdermal delivery of testosterone to treat dry eye.Methods:Twenty eight subjects 3 males and 25 females with a mean age of 52.5 yrs that ranged from 25 to 76 yrs. with a subjective complaint of dry eye were enrolled in the study. The subjects were divided into two groups. One group received the transdermal cream alone, while the second group used the transdermal cream supplemented with 3% testosterone. The subjects applied the cream 2 times daily for two weeks. The groups were reversed after two weeks of cream use. Baseline TBUT(tear breakup time) and Schirmer test were done prior to the study and after the use of each the two transdermal creams(control and testosterone).Results:Baseline TBUT was 3.83 +/- 2.07 sec, testosterone was 4.13 +/- 1.83 sec, and cream alone was 4.53 +/- 2.2 sec. Schirmer results are 8.53 mm+/- 5.27 in 5 min baseline , 11.5 mm +/- 5.8 testosterone, and 7.8mm +/- 4.4 cream alone. ANOVA with post hoc student Newman-Keuls reveals that the Schirmer test results with 3% testosterone is different from baseline and cream alone at p=.05 level. Over half the subjects reported significant improvement in dry eye symptoms with the testosterone cream.Conclusion:Transdermal delivery of testosterone appears to be a safe and effective treatment for dry eye. The transdermal cream allows use of increased testosterone concentration and dramatically improves patient comfort. Post-menopausal females perceived the greatest relief of symptoms from the treatment, while males had the least benefit.

Keywords: cornea: tears/tear film/dry eye • lacrimal gland 

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