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Safety of cetirizine ophthalmic solution 0.24% for the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis in adult and pediatric subjects

Authors Malhotra RP, Meier E, Torkildsen G, Gomes PJ, Jasek MC

Received 1 September 2018

Accepted for publication 12 December 2018

Published 19 February 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 403—413


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Ranjan P Malhotra,1 Edward Meier,2 Gail Torkildsen,3 Paul J Gomes,4 Mark C Jasek5

1Ophthalmology Associates, St Louis, MO, USA; 2Apex Eye, Mason, OH, USA; 3Andover Eye, Andover, MA, USA; 4Ora, Inc., Andover, MA, USA; 5Eyevance Pharmaceuticals, Fort Worth, TX, USA

Purpose: The studies reported here aimed to assess the safety and tolerability of cetirizine ophthalmic solution 0.24%, a new topical ophthalmic medication approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis.
Patients and methods: Three clinical studies evaluated cetirizine ophthalmic solution 0.24% administration: a Phase I prospective, single-center, open-label, pharmacokinetic (PK) study (N=11) evaluating single-dose administration and twice-daily (BID) administration for 1 week in healthy adults, and two Phase III, multi-center, randomized, double-masked, vehicle-controlled, parallel-group studies evaluating the safety and tolerability in adult and pediatric populations (2–18 years of age) for up to 6 consecutive weeks. The first safety and tolerability study evaluated cetirizine BID (study 1, N=512), while the second study examined cetirizine three times daily (TID) (study 2, N=516). Each study assessed best corrected visual acuity, slit-lamp biomicroscopy, IOP, dilated ophthalmoscopy, treatment-emergent adverse events, vital signs, urine pregnancy test, and physical examination (general health, head, eyes, ears, nose, and throat). The PK study also measured hematology, blood chemistry, and urinalysis, while the two Phase III studies additionally assessed corneal endothelial cell counts (ECC) and ECC density in a subset of subjects (via specular microscopy), and drug administration tolerability.
Results: Bilateral administration of cetirizine ophthalmic solution 0.24% resulted in low systemic exposure in the PK study and was associated with a low incidence of mild adverse events. There were no drug-related severe or serious adverse events. The tolerability scores between the active and vehicle groups were comparable, demonstrating high comfort in the administration of cetirizine ophthalmic solution 0.24%.
Conclusion: Cetirizine ophthalmic solution 0.24% dosed BID or TID demonstrated an acceptable safety profile and was well-tolerated when administered to subjects aged ≥2 years.

Keywords: ocular allergy, antihistamine, ocular itching, tolerability, topical administration

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