For years many eyeMDs were very suspicious of the effect of Azasite on improving dry eye symptoms and meibomian gland dysfunction primarily because the first studies were sponsored by the drug company and the drop was very expensive (ridiculously so).
A paper below #2, though, says it was not sponsored by the company which shows Azasite’s promise in helping with MGD and DED. I have had 4 patients note that it helped them. I also had a patient come in from another eyeMD who noted it made them much worse with pain and severe redness: mostly likely a severe allergy.
Paper #1 below about a similarly working drop called Solithromycin was evaluated by the same research group at Harvard and it was sponsored by the company.
So does it really work or not? Is it worth the money?
I do not see any studies on real patients not sponsored by the drug company to say it does work and it is worth the cost. The risks are low though.
What has been your experience with Azasite? Let me know. How much did it cost you?
Let me know.
Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS
Declaration of interests
Can Tetracycline Antibiotics Duplicate the Ability of Azithromycin to Stimulate Human Meibomian Gland Epithelial Cell Differentiation?
Liu, Yang MD; Kam, Wendy R. MS; Ding, Juan PhD; Sullivan, David A. PhD
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), the leading cause of dry eye disease throughout the world, afflicts hundreds of millions of people and has no cure.1,2 In the United States, antibiotics such as azithromycin and tetracyclines—especially doxycycline, minocycline, and tetracycline—are widely used off-label in the treatment of MGD.1 Therapeutic effects of these antibiotics were believed to be indirect, suppressing MGD-associated posterior blepharitis and bacterial lipase activity on the lid.2
However, we recently discovered that azithromycin can act directly on human meibomian gland epithelial cells (HMGECs) to induce cholesterol, phospholipid, and lysosome accumulation, and ultimately a holocrine-like secretion.3,4 We hypothesize that this intracellular effect of azithromycin is due in large part to its cationic amphiphilic structure.5 If our hypothesis is correct, then azithromycin’s action on HMGECs is unique, and will not be duplicated by tetracyclines. To test this hypothesis, we compared the effects of azithromycin and tetracyclines on HMGEC differentiation and proliferation in defined conditions.6,7 We also determined the relative ability of these antibiotics to induce sterol regulatory element–binding protein 1 (SREBP-1) and cyclin B1, which are key regulators of lipogenesis and the cell cycle, respectively.8,9
This study was sponsored by Cempra Pharmaceuticals.
The Effect of Solithromycin, a Cationic Amphiphilic Drug, on the Proliferation and Differentiation of Human Meibomian Gland Epithelial Cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
More info about the Company: