Forskolin lowers intraocular pressure in rabbits, monkeys, and man

Lancet. 1983 Apr 30;1(8331):958-60. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(83)92084-6.


Topical ocular application of forskolin, a diterpene that increases intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate by stimulating adenylate cyclase directly without cell surface mediation, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in rabbits, monkeys, and volunteers who were free from eye disease. In man 50 microliters of a topical suspension of 1% forskolin significantly lowered IOP in 1 h, the effect reaching a peak at 2 h but remaining significant for at least 5 h. Outflow pressure fell by 70% on average. Forskolin and its analogues represent a new class of drugs active against glaucoma which differ in their molecular actions from any previously used drug.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism
  • Administration, Topical
  • Animals
  • Aqueous Humor / drug effects
  • Ciliary Body / drug effects
  • Ciliary Body / enzymology
  • Colforsin
  • Diterpenes / administration & dosage
  • Diterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Epithelium / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / drug effects*
  • Macaca
  • Models, Biological
  • Rabbits


  • Diterpenes
  • Colforsin
  • Adenylyl Cyclases