Alcon’s steroid-antibiotic combination improves defenses against bacteria.
Differing from the previous generation, Alcon Laboratories, Inc.’s new TOBRADEX® ST (tobramycin 0.3%/dexamethasone 0.05% ophthalmic suspension) is specifically designed to increase retention of the dual-acting antibiotic and steroid properties on the eye.
HOW IT’S DIFFERENT
While the concentration of the antibiotic tobramycin is the same at 0.3% as the previous TOBRADEX, the concentration of the steroid dexamethasone is halved to 0.05% in the new formulation. TOBRADEX ST is also indicated for blepharitis and other inflammatory ocular conditions that might be accompanied by an infection.
TOBRADEX ST represents a bridge of sorts between the prior and next generation of ocular drugs. Dexamethasone is still a gold standard as a steroid, and tobramycin is a very effective aminoglycocide antibiotic, perhaps more so because it has not been as widely used medically as other antibiotics and has fewer resistance issues.
Similar to strategies used with many other pharmacologic compounds today, TOBRADEX ST uses a different delivery vehicle to potentiate the effect of its individual components. This allows dexamethasone to achieve the same efficacy of the previous generation of TOBRADEX with half the concentration—the same bang for the buck with the same bioequivalents and less dexamethasone.
The tobramycin benefits because it forms an ionically driven depot with the controlled delivery vehicle which increases viscosity by 7%. In the bottle, TOBRADEX ST reduces settling of dexamethasone and on the ocular surface it extends the kill time of the antibiotic by staying on the eye longer. Typically an antibiotic placed in the eye has generalized absorption even though you as an optometrist have a targeted tissue in mind.
|COMMENT FROM THE DOC
“TOBRADEX ST’s superior staying power offers an advantage for patients to receive a treatment that provides fast and effective relief from uncomfortable symptoms of inflammatory ocular conditions, such as acute blepharitis. This represents an excellent clinical option when treating blepharitis, a quite common ailment.”
—Stephen Lane, MD, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
The controlled delivery vehicle in TOBRADEX ST essentially allows the concentration of the antibiotic to be distributed over a longer period of time. This is the same strategy pharmaceutical makers have used in the newer generation of antibiotics. Clinical studies have shown that 10 minutes after dosing, concentrations of TOBRADEX ST remained on the ocular surface at levels high enough to kill 99.9% of ocular bacteria.
COST NOT AN ISSUE
With new medications, there’s always a concern about cost, especially with drug benefit plans emphasizing generics. However, the out of pocket cost of TOBRADEX ST compares favorably with the generic combination drops. Additionally, 80% of the managed care plans cover this new formulation.
TOBRADEX has been one of the most prescribed therapeutics in eyecare because it has been highly effective and has an excellent safety profile. Alcon is now taking that to the next level with TOBRADEX ST due to this reengineered formulation.
Arthur Epstein is a clinician and lecturer with extensive experience in anterior segment disease.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Alcon Laboratories, Inc. • 800-451-3937 • alcon.com