Study Shows Netarsudil Effective in Treating Steroid Induced Glaucoma

Researchers at Duke Eye Center have identified that Netarsudil™ is particularly effective at treating steroid induced glaucoma. Results of the study were published in eLife in March 2021. 

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness throughout the world, which can be caused by some medications. Glucocorticoids, a type of steroid are widely used for treating common eye conditions and diseases, often causing ocular hypertension – increased pressure in the eyes that can threaten vision. Eye pressure increase from steroids occurs in up to one-third of the general population and over 90% of people with glaucoma.  

In this study, Daniel W. Stamer, PhD {corresponding author} and Pratap Challa, MD {co-author} - report that an FDA-approved drug called netarsudil, a rho-kinase inhibitor, decreased glucocorticoid-induced ocular hypertension in patients whose intraocular pressures were poorly controlled by standard medications. Using a mouse model of glucocorticoid-induced ocular hypertension, the team then looked at the processes behind this positive effect of netarsudil, and saw that the drug both reduced and prevented the root cause for elevated intraocular pressure.  

These important findings suggest the need for a randomized prospective clinical study to see whether netarsudil is superior to first-line anti-glaucoma drugs in lowering steroid induced ocular hypertension.  This study shows promise that  netarsudil could become a mainstream treatment for patients at risk for steroid-induced ocular hypertension.