[Skip to Navigation]
June 1976

Topical Corticosteroid Therapy and Pituitary-Adrenal Function

Author Affiliations

From the Glaucoma Center, Department of Ophthalmology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis. Dr Podos is now with Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1976;94(6):919-920. doi:10.1001/archopht.1976.03910030459003

• Systemic absorption has been reported after the use of corticosteroid eye drops. Prolonged use could result in adrenocortical insufficiency and an associated adrenal crisis under stressful situations. For that reason, we studied the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis of patients receiving corticosteroid eye drops.

Fifteen patients were given 0.1% dexamethasone sodium phosphate eye drops, one drop (approximately 1/30 ml) to each eye four times a day for six weeks. This dosage resulted in partial adrenal suppression, manifested by reduced levels of plasma cortisol. However, in each case, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, as evaluated with the use of the oral metyrapone tartrate test, was intact.

Add or change institution