Delivery of steroids into the eye for the treatment of macular edema

Amir Hadayer, Shlomit Schaal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT: Introduction: Steroids have been in extensive use in ophthalmology since their discovery in 1948. Steroids are effective for the treatment of macular edema and may be delivered into the eye either topically, systemically, subconjunctivally, sub-Tenon, intravitreally and through injectable sustained release devices. Various steroid formulations and devices are commercially available. Each carries advantages and disadvantages, which requires the ophthalmologist to exercise careful medical judgment upon treatment selection. Areas covered: This article focuses in steroid delivery into the eye for the treatment of macular edema, and reviews the current and future treatment options, summarizing their clinical efficacy and possible adverse effects. Expert opinion: Steroids have an important role in the treatment of macular edema, regardless of its cause. Steroids are efficacious, low-cost, and much clinical experience has been accumulated regarding their use over the years. Prolonged systemic steroid use may be associated with severe systemic and local side effects, directly proportional to dosage and time. Intravitreal delivery of steroids has gained popularity as the medication is administered close to the target tissue, significantly reducing the possibility of systemic adverse effects. The biggest problem associated with intravitreal steroids still remains unacceptably high risk of glaucoma and cataract formation. Various controlled-release intravitreal delivery devices are currently commercially available, and more are in the pipeline. While they still carry the risk of local side effects, they are efficacious and can control macular edema for months and years after a single administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1083-1091
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2 2016


  • Iluvien
  • Intraocular
  • Kenalog
  • Ozurdex
  • Retisert
  • drug delivery
  • inflammation
  • injection
  • intravitreal
  • macular edema
  • steroids
  • sustained release

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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