Comparison of initial treatment response to two enhanced-viscosity artificial tears

Eye Contact Lens. 2006 May;32(3):148-52. doi: 10.1097/01.icl.0000181819.63425.a6.


Purpose: To compare the effectiveness of 1.0% carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) (Refresh Liquigel, Allergan, Inc., Irvine, CA) and propylene glycol/polyethylene glycol 400 (PG-HPG) (Systane, Alcon, Fort Worth, TX) in providing relief of dry eye symptoms and signs.

Methods: To evaluate patient comfort and drop preference, patients were given CMC in one eye and PG-HPG in the other. Five minutes after the initial drop application, patients were questioned on overall preference and comfort, as measured by stickiness, blurring, and soothing. Patients were then randomized to receive CMC or PG-HPG in both eyes for 1 week. Fluorescein staining was evaluated at baseline and week 1.

Results: Of patients with a preference, more patients preferred CMC than PG-HPG. Thirty-six percent preferred CMC, and 24% preferred PG-HPG. More (35%) patients found CMC to be more soothing than PG-HPG (22%). After 1 week of treatment, eyes treated with CMC consistently showed less ocular surface staining than did eyes treated with PG-HPG. Mean corneal staining score in the inferior region was significantly lower in the CMC group than in the PG-HPG group (P = 0.008) at week 1. CMC provided a statistically significant decrease in mean corneal inferior staining (P < 0.001), whereas the PG-HPG group (P = 0.185) had no significant change. In the temporal conjunctival region, CMC provided a significantly lower mean staining score than PG-HPG after 1 week of treatment (P = 0.005).

Conclusions: Patients found CMC to be more comfortable than PG-HPG. After 1 week of use, CMC provided greater relief of dry eye signs and symptoms than PG-HPG.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium / chemistry
  • Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium / therapeutic use*
  • Conjunctiva / drug effects
  • Conjunctiva / pathology
  • Cornea / drug effects
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Drug Combinations
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / drug therapy*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / pathology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles / chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles / therapeutic use*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry
  • Polyethylene Glycols / therapeutic use*
  • Propylene Glycol / chemistry
  • Propylene Glycol / therapeutic use*
  • Surface-Active Agents / chemistry
  • Surface-Active Agents / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Viscosity


  • Drug Combinations
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium