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October 1996

Uveitis Associated With Topical β-Blockers

Author Affiliations

From the Jaeb Center for Health Research and the Department of Epidemiology, University of South Florida College of Public Health, Tampa (Drs Beck and Blair and Ms Moke) and the Humana Health Care Plan of Tampa Bay (Mr Nissenbaum). This study was conducted by the Jaeb Center under a contract with Bausch & Lomb, Pharmaceuticals, Rochester, NY. Dr Beck and Ms Moke are employed by the Jaeb Center and Dr Blair serves as a paid consultant to the center. The Humana Health Care Plan (Mr Nissenbaum) was compensated by the Jaeb Center for providing data.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(10):1181-1182. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100140381002

Objective:  To assess the incidence of uveitis associated with topical β-blockers.

Design:  Retrospective cohort study.

Setting:  A computerized database of a health maintenance organization was used to identify patients who were prescribed metipranolol or other β-blockers.

Patients:  Two groups: 1928 patients using 0.3% metipranolol and 3903 patients using other β-blockers.

Main Outcome Measure:  Cases of uveitis were identified by noting a prescription of a topical corticosteroid and then conducting a chart review.

Results:  No cases of uveitis were identified among the 5831 patients. The upper limits of the 95% confidence intervals for the incidence of uveitis in cohorts of this size are 1.87 cases per 1000 person-years of exposure for metipranolol and 1.38 for other β-blockers.

Conclusion:  Drug-induced uveitis from metipranolol or other β-blocker administration is a rare event, even if a causal relationship exists.