Purpose: To evaluate the role of levodopa/carbidopa in the treatment of amblyopia.
Methods: Thirty patients with strabismic amblyopia between the ages of 3 and 12 years were part of this double-blind, randomized study. Patients were divided into two groups. Group A received 0.50 mg + 1.25 mg of levodopa/carbidopa per kilogram body weight three times daily after meals, with a protein rich drink, whereas Group B received placebo. Both groups received full-time conventional occlusion until a visual acuity of 6/6 was achieved or for a maximum of 3 months.
Results: The authors observed more than two lines improvement in visual acuity that was greater in the levodopa group (15 of 15) than in the placebo group (9 of 15) (P < .005). Furthermore, improvement in visual acuity of more than two lines was greater in patients younger than 8 years (100%) than in patients older than 8 years of age (60%) (P = .0026). There was also no significant reversal of the improved visual acuity in up to 6 months of follow-up.
Conclusion: Levodopa/carbidopa improves visual acuity in patients with amblyopia and maintains improved visual acuity, especially in patients younger than 8 years.