Novel Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Treatment (DSP-Visulex) for Noninfectious Anterior Uveitis: A Randomized Phase I/II Clinical Trial

Curr Eye Res. 2019 Feb;44(2):185-193. doi: 10.1080/02713683.2018.1540707. Epub 2018 Nov 15.


Purpose: Frequent steroid drops represent a challenge in patient compliance. This study evaluated the safety and efficacy of 5 minute topical dexamethasone sodium phosphate-Visulex (DSP-Visulex) treatment regimen (two applications on the first week then weekly after) compared to daily prednisolone acetate 1% (PA) for noninfectious anterior uveitis.

Materials and methods: Forty-four patients were randomized to 8% DSP-Visulex with placebo eye drops (8% group, n = 14), 15% DSP-Visulex with placebo eye drops (15% group, n = 15), or Vehicle-Visulex with PA eye drops (PA group, n = 15). Patients received daily eye drops and Visulex treatments on days 1, 3, 8, and 15 with an optional treatment on day 22. Efficacy measures were change in anterior chamber cell (ACC) count from baseline and proportion of patients with zero ACC count at days 8, 15, and 29. Safety measures were adverse events (AEs), visual acuity, ocular symptoms, and intraocular pressure (IOP).

Results: ACC resolution over time was similar among the three groups. The percentage of patients with clear ACC was 18%, 22%, and 15% on day 8; 27%, 56%, and 54% on day 15; and 90%, 88%, and 77% on day 29 for the 8%, 15%, and PA groups, respectively. The numbers of reported AEs were 10, 36, and 12 for the 8%, 15%, and PA groups, respectively. Ten patients among all groups experienced treatment-related AEs, which included headache, eye pain, corneal abrasion, conjunctival/corneal staining, conjunctivitis, visual acuity reduction, and keratitis all of which were resolved during the timeframe of patients' participation in the study. IOP elevation was noted in the PA group throughout the study, whereas IOP elevation in the DSP-Visulex groups was observed at day 3 but not thereafter.

Conclusions: The efficacy of the DSP-Visulex applications was comparable to the daily PA drops in the treatment of noninfectious anterior uveitis. Both 8% and 15% DSP-Visulex treatments were safe and well tolerated.

Keywords: Ocular drug delivery; clinical trial; dexamethasone; safety and efficacy; uveitis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anterior Chamber / pathology*
  • Cell Count
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Dexamethasone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Slit Lamp Microscopy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uveitis, Anterior / diagnosis
  • Uveitis, Anterior / drug therapy*
  • Uveitis, Anterior / physiopathology
  • Visual Acuity*
  • Young Adult


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • dexamethasone 21-phosphate
  • Dexamethasone