Topical indomethacin solution versus dexamethasone solution for treatment of inflamed pterygium and pinguecula: a prospective randomized clinical study

Am J Ophthalmol. 1999 Feb;127(2):148-52. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(98)00327-4.


Purpose: To compare the effect of topical indomethacin 0.1% solution with the effect of topical dexamethasone 0.1% phosphate solution on signs and symptoms of inflamed pterygium and pinguecula.

Methods: Of 50 consecutive patients who had inflamed pterygia (n = 17) or pingueculae (n = 33), met the study criteria, and signed an informed consent, one eye of each patient was evaluated in a comparative, prospective, randomized, double-masked, controlled study. Objective signs (conjunctival congestion, redness and edema, and staining of cornea) and subjective complaints (photophobia, pain, foreign-body sensation, discomfort, and tearing) were evaluated and scored. We also evaluated "total signs," "total symptoms," and "total score." Group 1 (n = 25) received topical indomethacin 0.1% solution, and group 2 (n = 25) received a topical dexamethasone phosphate 0.1% solution six times daily for 3 days, then four times daily over the following 11 days. Patients were examined before treatment, on days 3, 7, and 14 after the treatment was initiated, and 2 and 4 weeks after the treatment was discontinued.

Results: In both groups, the scores for "total signs," "total symptoms," and "total score" were significantly lower (P = .001) by day 14. There were no differences between groups 1 and 2 for "total signs," "total symptoms," and "total score" at days 3, 7, and 14 (P = .07 to P = .88). After treatment was discontinued, the dexamethasone-treated group experienced a significantly greater recurrence of "total signs" (P = .023 at day 30, P = .02 at day 45), but there was no statistically significant difference in "total symptoms" and "total score." Patients in group 2 reported more stinging after drops were administered than patients in group 1 (P = .002).

Conclusions: This study indicates that topical indomethacin 0.1% solution is as effective as topical dexamethasone phosphate 0.1% solution for the treatment of inflamed pterygium and pinguecula and, therefore, is suggested as an effective treatment for these conditions.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Conjunctivitis / drug therapy*
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indomethacin / administration & dosage
  • Indomethacin / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / administration & dosage
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pterygium / drug therapy*
  • Recurrence
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Dexamethasone
  • Indomethacin