Evaluation of dexamethasone phosphate delivered by ocular iontophoresis for treating noninfectious anterior uveitis

Ophthalmology. 2012 Jan;119(1):66-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2011.07.006. Epub 2011 Nov 23.


Purpose: Determine safe, effective, iontophoretic dose(s) of EGP-437 (dexamethasone phosphate formulated for iontophoresis) in patients with noninfectious anterior uveitis; evaluate systemic drug exposures.

Design: Prospective, phase I/II, multicenter, double-masked, parallel group, randomized clinical trial.

Participants: Forty outpatients with anterior uveitis.

Methods: Forty of 42 randomized patients received an iontophoresis treatment in 1 qualifying eye and completed the study. Patients were randomized into 1 of 4 iontophoresis dose groups (1.6, 4.8, 10.0, or 14.0 mA-min), treated with EGP-437 via the EyeGate II Delivery System (EGDS), and followed until day 28.

Main outcome measures: The main outcome measures were anterior chamber cell (ACC) scores at days 14 and 28; time to ACC score of zero; proportion of patients with an ACC score reduction from baseline of ≥ 0.5 at day 28; mean change from baseline in ACC score at day 28; and the systemic exposures of dexamethasone and dexamethasone phosphate after EGP-437 treatment with the EGDS.

Results: After a single EGP-437 treatment, 19 of 40 patients (48%) achieved an ACC score of zero at day 14. By day 28, 24 of 40 patients (60%) achieved an ACC score of zero. A Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that the 1.6 mA-min dose was the most effective and revealed an inverse dose response; median days to an ACC score of zero were 11.5 days in the 1.6 mA-min group versus 31 days in the 14.0 mA-min group. Twenty-six patients (65%) had an ACC score reduction from baseline of ≥ 0.5 at day 28. The mean change in ACC score from baseline to day 28 was -2.14 with a median of -2.00. Throughout the study, the mean intraocular pressure remained within normal range and mean best-corrected visual acuity at 4 meters remained relatively stable. Most adverse events were mild; no serious adverse events were reported. Pharmacokinetics results showed low short-term systemic exposure to dexamethasone after iontophoresis; no nonocular systemic corticosteroid-mediated effects were observed.

Conclusions: Approximately two thirds of the patients reached an ACC score of zero within 28 days, after only receiving 1 iontophoresis treatment. The lower doses seemed to be the most effective, and treatments were well-tolerated.

Financial disclosure(s): Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Dexamethasone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Iontophoresis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uveitis, Anterior / drug therapy*
  • Uveitis, Anterior / physiopathology
  • Young Adult


  • Glucocorticoids
  • dexamethasone 21-phosphate
  • Dexamethasone