Vulnerable Vision: Compounding Ophthalmic Medications for Pediatric Patients
Ophthalmologists often work with pediatric patients, and this heightens their need for compounded ophthalmic preparations. The sensitivity of both the human eye and pediatric patients, generally coupled with the specific treatment needs of pediatric ophthalmic patients, make compounding ophthalmic medications for pediatric patients a crucial demand for compounding pharmacies to meet.
The Need for Ophthalmic Medications for Pediatric Patients
Ophthalmologists work with children as well as adults to detect, prevent, and treat diseases and conditions of the eyelids, tear ducts, and all other areas of the eyes. Especially in the most common ophthalmic problems in children, many courses of treatment include prescribed ophthalmic medications. Ophthalmologists treat many problems, but some of the most common that strike children include conjunctivitis (also known as pink eye) and styes and chalizia.
Compounded ophthalmic medications are important for pediatric patients for several reasons. One reason is simply a matter of concentration, dosage, and especially format; eyedrops are a common delivery method as are ointments, and both are very easily and effectively compounded. This is especially important to sensitive patients including pediatric patients who do not tolerate eyedrops well; dilating the eyes of pediatric subjects is particularly difficult without compounded preparations.
Conjunctivitis is treated differently depending on its cause. Severe allergic conjunctivitis is treated with antihistamines and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications; topical steroid drops are also a possible course of treatment. Bacterial conjunctivitis infections are easy to spread via casual physical contact, and are typically treated with medications. Opthalmia neonatorum can cause permanent eye damage without immediate treatment. Antibiotic ointments or eye drops are used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis. Vancomycin, Tobramycin, Gentamicin, and Cefazolin and common choices in this area. Viral conjunctivitis cannot be treated directly, as viruses cannot be “cured,” but sometimes symptoms might demand treatment. The most serious cases might require topical steroid drops to treat inflammation. Chemical conjunctivitis can be treated with topical steroids.
Styes and chalizia are lumps or swellings on the eye or eyelid. Styes are caused by bacterial infections, typically in the follicle of an eyelash. Sometimes styes can spread skin infection, and for that reason might require treatment with antibiotics; this is also true if they recur. Styes might be treated with antibiotics such as Tobradex in eyedrops or ointments.
A chalazion is caused by a blocked oil gland in the eyelid. Chalazia may sometimes benefit from treatment with anti-inflammatory medication, and since they can take up to a month to resolve on their own, patients often seek assistance. Chalazia may sometimes benefit from treatment with any of a variety of anti-inflammatory treatments and topical steroids.
When styes and chalizia do cause infections they can be treated with tetracyclines such as doxycycline and minocycline at higher doses which both fight the infection and reduce inflammation. In some cases long-term low-dose tetracycline therapy may be indicated to prevent a recurring problem.
In all pediatric cases, including those for ophthalmic disorders, the utmost care is the top concern. Ophthalmologists and parents alike are intent upon providing targeted, appropriate care for the eyes of their smallest, most vulnerable patients. Compounding ophthalmic medications for pediatric patients allows pharmaceutical providers to equip ophthalmologists with the right tools for the job.
Compounding ophthalmic medications for pediatric patients is an important area of specialty that demands the most up to date information and the highest quality ingredients. Pharmaceutica North America is an excellent resource for high-quality compounding products and information. For more about pharmaceutical compounding and purchasing bulk APIs, please contact Pharmaceutica North America, your trusted compounding resource.