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Ask Dr. A.S. Desai Your Own Question
Dr. A.S. Desai
Dr. A.S. Desai, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2436
Experience:  MS Ophthalmology with 13 years of surgical expereince
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Hi! I am a 67 year old Australian lady who has just been diagnosed with pseudo exfoliating glaucoma in the right eye only (pressure 26, reasonable field of vision, but optic nerve damage assessed at 50%). The left eye is 18, and field seems OK, no apparent optic nerve damage.
My problem is that the opthalmologist whom I saw for the first time today rushed through the appointment (testing, a Lumigan eyedrops prescription, and a couple of pamphlets pushed into my hand as I was pushed out the door), and gave me no time to ask questions or to explain that I had a history of extreme sensitivity to chemicals - environmental toxins, natural and artificial chemicals in many foods, and drugs (I don't take any, except for the unavoidable penicillin I am on at the moment for a persistent gum infection). As a matter of fact, there was no enquiry about my medical history or current drugs.
When I read the patient information accompanying the Lumigan prescription (which I have not started yet), I got very worried. I could see myself being a potential candidate for severe reactions, but would risk damage from pressure rebound if I started and then had to stop. The preservative - benzalkonium chloride - is also a concern, since the benzoate in a skin cream caused a bright red rash over my skin, after the formula switched from citric acid as a preservative.
I have been anxiously searching the internet for alternative, safer, eyedrops for reducing eye pressure, and have discovered an interesting possibility - Ocufors, a plant-derived Forskolin solution which claims to avoid the side effects of currently used glaucoma eyedrops, while being actually more effective in reducing IOP.
The problem is that I can't find any recent information about its availability - is Ocufors on the market yet, or likely to be in the near future? (I am in Australia, but maybe can order from the U.S.? Or would I need a prescription from a health professional? NOT this opthalmologist! She has no time to listen to me).
Any information or suggestions from you would be most gratefully received!
Set whatever price you consider reasonable, if you can help me to get my hands on a regular supply of Ocufors, either now or in the near future.
I don't think I have the courage to start the Lumigan. I think I will just take lots of vitamins and omega 3 essential fatty acids (softens eye tissues and improves drainage), while waiting for the Ocufors. Here's hoping!
Regards, ***** .............. LSangster@
P.S. The item below is the latest news I can find.
-----------------------------------------------------------PISCATAWAY, N.J., Sept. 5 (2006) /PRNewswire/ -- Sabinsa Corporation, a manufacturer and supplier of high quality herbal extracts, nutraceuticals, minerals and specialty fine chemicals, has been granted permission by the Drugs Controller General of India to manufacture and market Ocufors(TM), a standardised 1% ophthalmic solution developed from the herb Coleus Forskohlii (Forskolin), after meeting mandatory research requirements and undergoing extensive (human) clinical trials with positive results.
Sabinsa , a U.S. based company, was founded by Muhammed Majeed (Ph.D.) who had travelled to the U.S. from India in 1975. He also founded Sami Labs in Bangalore, India, which developed Ocufors and owns the U.S. patent.
"The company (Sami Labs or Sabinsa?) is in the process of seeking international registrations in Europe, US and Australia (as of 2006)."
"Research and development has always been strength and focus for Sabinsa, and through our ongoing efforts we were able to develop this stable, water- soluble forskolin solution that has been shown in clinical trials to be 30 percent more effective than the most popular glaucoma treatment on the world market today," noted Dr. Muhammed Majeed, founder and CEO, Sabinsa Corporation. "It is an honor to receive this approval, which speaks highly about our stringent safety, efficacy and quality standards, which we apply to all of our ingredients whether they be prescription grade, generic commodities or our branded offerings."
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. A.S. Desai replied 6 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. A.S. Desai replied 6 years ago.

You seem to be offline now. You can read the answer once you are online again.

I have gone through the information on Ocufors eye drops , which seems to be a herbal product ( similar to an ayurvedic product) with pending international licenses yet, though holds a US patent. Unfortunately it is not an allopathic drug due to which we do not have much hands on or written research matter and thus cannot comment on its efficacy.

But I can explain why anti-glaucoma is essential for you and why Lumigan is the best possible anti-glaucoma.

In glaucoma, the fluid within the eye called aqueous, cannot exit the eye due to blocked filters called trabecular meshwork(TM) due to aging( as in primary type ) or due to various causes( as in secondary type). Due to this the pressure in the aqueous builds up resulting in raised IOP( intraocular pressure). Either medicines are given to reduce aqueous production or drugs are given which use an alternative exit route other than the blocked TM. Lumigan ( brimanoprost) belongs to the prostaglandin analogue group and helps to outflow of aqueous from uveoscleral route thus bypassing the blocked TM. It is a safe medicine and well tolerated by most ( except in those with hypersensitivity to it). I do not see much of a systemic reaction arising from its preservative component( BAK). Unless you start anti-glaucoma medicine , the intraocular pressure is unlikely to reduce thus increasing the risk of the pressure effects on the optic nerve( which is luckily free from serious pressure effects so far).

I recommend Lumigan eye drops , 1 drop once a day, as a safe option. There are other antiglaucoma drugs also but are more likely to cause side effects than this. Other eye drops for glaucoma are dorzalamide, latanoprost, combination with timolol. But I guess Lumigan is better of the lot.

I would not recommend any new product like ocufors eye drops due to lack of supportive practical reviews or literature, still considered experimental by us .

Thanks and best wishes

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Views expressed are for information purpose only and cannot substitute a visit to an ophthalmologist