I met my first patient who has used Albumin drops for dry eyes.
He came in because he believes a recent new surge of styes and chalazia were caused by his use of albumin drops. He had used a compounding pharmacy in Michigan. Initially, he asked if they could send him autologous serum but in a series of conversations, he realized it was albumin they would be selling him for about $200 for a month.
Human serum binds/transports fatty acids
The idea behind albumin started with a couple of papers like the one below.
Autologous serum contains many proteins, such as interleukins, cytokines, lactoferrin, and immunoglobulins. But serum also has a substantial quantity of other non-defined proteins in the pre-albumin and albumin fractions.
In study below, patients with Sjögren’s syndrome used albumin drops and showed statistically significant improvement in fluorescein and rose bengal scores, but not in tear break up time and subjective symptoms. No adverse effects of albumin were observed during the study. The use of albumin as a protein supplement in artificial tear solutions is a viable approach in the treatment of ocular surface disorders associated with tear deficiency.
Recombinant HSA (rHSA) has been successfully produced using a methylotrophic yeast, Pichia pastoris but I could not find a comparison of Human Albumin drops versus recombinant ones.
Recombinant albumin drops (5% or 10% recombinant albumin in some studies) can be obtained from Hyalein Mini, Santen Pharmaceuticals, Osaka, Japan or other compounding pharmacies.
Most studies and doctors have noted that Autologous Serum is prefereable to Albumin drops as AS has grown factos, lysozymes, cytokines which help heal ocular suface tissue.
Still there are some patients who cannot have their blood drawn or have poor veins: they may benefit from Albumin drops.
I could not find a case report of a chalazion after the use of Albumin drops, but this might be the first report of an association.
Albumin as a tear supplement in the treatment of severe dry eye
Human albumin eye drops as a therapeutic option for the management of keratoconjunctivitis sicca secondary to chronic graft-versus-host disease after stem-cell allografting
Albumin Drops: An Example Protocol
Still have not found an exact protocol. How are the drops sterilized exactly?
What You Need to Know About Your
Albumin Eye Drops
Information for patients and families
9 Order your eye drops from the Princess Margaret Outpatient
Pharmacy 14 business days before you need them. They take
7 to 10 business days to make.
9 Keep eye drops in the freezer until the first time you use them.
Once you open a bottle, you can keep it in the refrigerator or
at room temperature for up to 24 hours. You must use a new
bottle every day.
9 Don’t let anyone else use your eye drops. They are made just
My albumin eye drops will be ready on:
The Outpatient Pharmacy at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre will call you to
let you know when they are ready.
You must pick up your eye drops.
They can’t be delivered to you because they must be kept frozen.
What are albumin eye drops?
Albumin eye drops help treat very dry eyes when other eye products don’t
work. Albumin is a protein that is found in your blood.
How can I order albumin eye drops?
You need a prescription from your doctor to order albumin eye drops. Bring
your prescription to the Princess Margaret Outpatient Pharmacy on the
main floor of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. We make albumin eye drops
just for you. They cannot be used by anyone else.
How long does it take to make my albumin eye drops?
It takes about 7 to 10 business days to make your albumin eye drops. Bring
your prescription to the pharmacy 14 business days before you need them.
This will give us time to get your eye drops ready.
Why does it take so long to make albumin eye drops?
There are many steps we take to make sure your eye drops are safe and
sterile (free of germs). After you bring in your prescription:
1. We order albumin from the blood bank and special albumin eye dropper
2. We receive the eye dropper bottles and send them to Toronto General
Hospital so they can be sterilized. This takes about 2 days.
3. After they are sterilized, the bottles are sent to the Princess Margaret
Inpatient Pharmacy (another pharmacy in the hospital).
4. The Inpatient Pharmacy staff carefully makes the eye drops to make
sure the drops are clean and safe to use.
5. The Inpatient Pharmacy staff calls us to let us know the albumin eye
drops are ready to pick up.
6. We do a final check at the Outpatient Pharmacy before we call you to
pick up your drops.
You must pick up your eye drops. They can’t be delivered to you because
they must be kept frozen.
How do I store my albumin eye drops at home?
Keep your albumin eye drops in the freezer until the first time you use
them. You must thaw the bottle before using it. Thaw only one bottle a day.
Once you open the bottle, you can keep it in the refrigerator or at room
temperature for up to 24 hours. You must use a new bottle every day.
Albumin eye drops are good for 40 days from when they are made. Please
check the expiry date on your eye dropper bottles.
How can I order more albumin eye drops?
Please call the Princess Margaret Outpatient Pharmacy at 416 946 6593 at
least 14 business days before you need more eye drops.
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Form: D-5699 | Author: Princess Margaret Outpatient Pharmacy | Revised: 08/2019