Purpose: To investigate the preference rates of recently developed eye drops, 3% diquafosol ophthalmic solution and 2% rebamipide ophthalmic suspension, as a randomized clinical trial in patients with dry eye.
Methods: Eighteen patients (mean age: 59.7 years old, females: 77.8%) with reduced tear film break-up time (TBUT ? 5 sec) were enrolled in this study. They were treated with either diquafosol or rebamipide for 1 week, and treated for an additional week after switching to the other eye drop. This treatment was repeated one more time. Then, the patients were treated with one of either eye drop for an additional 4 weeks. Patients’ preferences for eye drops were investigated using a questionnaire at the end of 4-week treatment. To confirm the effectiveness of the treatments, objective and subjective assessments including superficial punctate keratopathy (SPK) score, TBUT measurement, and Dry Eye-Related Quality-of-Life Score (DEQS) were performed at baseline, and 4 and 8 weeks.
Results: SPK score was improved after treatment (P < 0.05). Patients tended to prefer diquafosol (64.7%) to
rebamipide (35.4%), however there was no significant difference in two eye drops (P = 0.23). Bitterness was reported significantly more frequently after rebamipide administration (66.7%) than diquafosol administration (5.6%, P < 0.001). The diquafosol bottle was considered “ease to use” by a larger percentage of users (94.1%) as compared to the rebamipide bottle (58.8%, P < 0.05). The effectiveness of the signs and symptoms were similar for both groups at 8 weeks.
Conclusions: Diquafosol and Rebamipide were both effective in treating dry eye and 65% of the patients choose Diquafosol. Bitterness after administration and ease to use of the bottles seemed to affect the patients’ preferences for these two eye drops.