Some of the views expressed in the following notes on newly approved products should be regarded as preliminary, as there may have been limited published data at the time of publication, and little experience in Australia of their safety or efficacy. However, the Editorial Executive Committee believes that comments made in good faith at an early stage may still be of value. Before new drugs are prescribed, the Committee believes it is important that more detailed information is obtained from the manufacturer's approved product information, a drug information centre or some other appropriate source.

Lomide (Alcon Laboratories)

0.1% eye drops

Indication: allergic conjunctivitis

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis and vernal conjunctivitis are two types of allergic conjunctivitis. Lodoxamide is thought to help to improve these conditions by stabilising mast cells.

This inhibits the Type I hypersensitivity reaction in the same way as sodium cromoglycate.

As the eye drops have no vasoconstrictor, anti-inflammatory or histamine effect, they are not good at relieving acute symptoms. They must be given regularly 4 times a day for prevention. The patient will usually notice an improvement within a few days. While continued treatment may be of benefit, there are limited data on long-term use.

Clinical trials suggest that lodoxamide is more effective than sodium cromoglycate eye drops for vernal conjunctivitis. There is also the possibility that lodoxamide may allow a reduction in the use of steroid eye drops by patients with severe vernal conjunctivitis. The evidence suggests that lodoxamide is probably as effective as sodium cromoglycate for seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.

There is little absorption of lodoxamide into the systemic circulation. Most adverse effects occur following instillation e.g. stinging or burning. Patients should be advised not to wear soft contact lenses during treatment.