Aims: To study the effects of topical nipradilol, a non-selective beta blocker with alpha blocking and nitroglycerin-like activities, on intraocular pressure (IOP) and aqueous humour dynamics in normal humans and in patients with ocular hypertension.
Methods: Nipradilol (0.06%, 0.125%, 0.25%, 0.5%) was applied to normal volunteers (n = 12) to test for IOP lowering effects. In a second group of normal volunteers (n = 11), nipradilol (0.125% and 0.25%) and timolol (0. 5%) were compared for IOP lowering effects. After a single administration of 0.25% nipradilol, IOP, flare intensity in the anterior chamber, aqueous flow, uveoscleral outflow, tonographic outflow facility, and episcleral venous pressure were either directly measured or mathematically calculated. Topical nipradilol (0.25%) was administered to 24 patients with ocular hypertension twice daily for 8 weeks.
Results: Administration of 0.25% nipradilol decreased IOP with a maximum reduction of 4.2 mm Hg lasting 12 hours. A single instillation of both 0.25% nipradilol and 0.5% timolol reduced the IOP in normotensive human subjects to the same degree. A single instillation of 0.25% nipradilol decreased the aqueous flow rate in the treated eye by 20%. Nipradilol produced no significant effect in tonographic outflow facility or episcleral venous pressure, but uveoscleral outflow was increased. In patients with ocular hypertension, twice daily instillation of 0.25% nipradilol decreased IOP without tachyphylaxis for the 8 week test period.
Conclusion: Topical nipradilol (0.25%) reduced IOP by decreasing the aqueous flow rate and probably also by increasing uveoscleral outflow. Nipradilol should be further investigated as a new antiglaucoma drug.