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February 1947


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pharmacology, Cornell University Medical College. Read before the New York Society for Clinical Ophthalmology, Nov. 5, 1945.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1947;37(2):160-166. doi:10.1001/archopht.1947.00890220169006

DESPITE the fact that most drugs used in ophthalmology are applied directly to the eye, information about their absorption from the surface of the globe is scanty. Only in the case of some of the latest additions to ophthalmic medicine, the sulfonamide drugs and penicillin, has the problem of absorption from the site of their application been systematically studied.

It might be expected, since the conjunctiva is not, like the intestinal tract, provided with special mechanisms for absorption, that absorption from its surface would be very poor. However, as ophthalmologists have long known, it is a good absorbing surface for many drugs. Satisfactory effects are obtained after the local instillation of miotics, mydriatics, cycloplegics, anti-infectives, anesthetics and others. Macht1 showed that after apomorphine had been placed on a dog's eye vomiting occurred in a few minutes, indicating exceedingly prompt absorption of that drug from the conjunctival sac into the