Hong Kong Med J 2004;10:191-5 | Number 3, June 2004
Use of ophthalmic medications during pregnancy
CY Chung, AKH Kwok, KL Chung
Department of Ophthalmology, Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVES. To review potential risks of eye medications to the mother and her foetus.
DATA SOURCES. PubMed search for all relevant articles (1966 to 2003).
STUDY SELECTION. All types of publication that documented potential risks of eye medications during pregnancy. The following key words were used: pregnancy, fetus, teratogenicity, eye, ocular, ophthalmic, glaucoma, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, and corticosteroids.
DATA EXTRACTION. All relevant articles including original articles, review papers, case studies, and relevant book chapters were extracted and reviewed.
DATA SYNTHESIS. Whether ophthalmic medications can be used during pregnancy is a very important issue; yet, limited information on the subject exists in the literature. Topically applied eye medications that give rise to systemic side-effects are of particular concern to both patients and doctors. Various ophthalmic anti-infective preparations and ophthalmic corticosteroids have shown to cause teratogenicity in animal studies. Furthermore, anti-glaucoma drugs pose potential risks to the foetus if they are absorbed systemically. This article examines the association between the main groups of ophthalmic medication and their possible adverse effects on the mother and the foetus. Recommendations for the treatment of pregnant patients with eye diseases are also discussed.
CONCLUSION. The risk of giving ophthalmic drugs to pregnant women is low. Doctors should be cautious when prescribing drugs for pregnant women and consult experts in the field when in doubt.
Key words: Administration, oral; Anti-bacterial agents; Ophthalmology; Pregnancy complications, infectious/drug therapy; Teratogens
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