Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a non-Newtonian tear substitute containing 0.4% polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG 400) and 0.3% propylene glycol in an 0.18% hydroxypropyl-guar (HPG) containing vehicle (Systane Lubricant Eye Drops; Alcon) in reducing the signs and symptoms of dry eye, as well as its effect on ocular protection.
Methods: Twenty patients with moderate to severe dry eye were enrolled in a 28-day prospective, randomized, controlled study. Subjects self-administered the HPG containing ocular lubricant four times daily (QID) over the study duration. After 28 days, the effect of the HPG containing ocular lubricant was evaluated by means of the Global Staining Score (a measure of the corneal and conjunctival staining), inter-blink tear film stability, Ocular Protection Index (OPI), and subjective symptoms.
Results: The HPG containing ocular lubricant produced statistically significant improvements compared with baseline in dry eye symptoms (P < 0.0001 at Days 7, 14, and 28); in ocular surface staining, as measured by a reduction in the Global Staining Score (P < 0.0001 at Days 7, 14, and 28); and in the OPI (P = 0.0025 at Day 14 and P = 0.0067 at Day 28).
Conclusions: The improvements in ocular surface staining and dry eye symptoms with the HPG containing ocular lubricant -- evident as early as the first follow-up visit (Day 7) and continued throughout the 28 days of the study with a concurrent, increase in OPI to a level greater than unity -- indicate that this preparation is a fast-acting, long-lasting, and effective treatment for dry eye. In concurrence with the results from previously published clinical studies, the HPG containing ocular lubricant has shown efficacy in alleviating the signs and symptoms of dry eye as well as affording improved ocular surface protection.