Topical tacrolimus 0.03% ointment for intractable allergic conjunctivitis: An open-label pilot study

Liat Attas-Fox*, Yaniv Barkana, Vladimir Iskhakov, Svetlana Rayvich, Yariv Gerber, Yair Morad, Isaac Avni, David Zadok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility of tacrolimus 0.03% dermatological ointment (Protopic) in the treatment of intractable allergic conjunctivitis. Methods: Twenty patients (mean age 10.8 years, range 6-26) with intractable allergic conjunctivitis were enrolled in an open-label study. Tacrolimus 0.03% ointment was applied into the conjunctival sac of both eyes twice daily for 8 weeks, followed by a 2-week washout period. Other ocular medications were discontinued. Conjunctivitis severity was recorded with a composite subjective/objective score (chemosis, tarsal papillary size, corneal staining, tearing, itching, and photophobia) at baseline, week 8, and after washout. Tacrolimus blood levels were measured at 2 weeks. Results: Statistically significant improvement in all categories of the conjunctivitis score was observed between baseline and the week 8 examination (p < 0.001). Adverse events were limited to local burning in one patient who discontinued treatment. Blood tacrolimus levels were mostly undetectable. Conclusions: Application of tacrolimus 0.03% dermatological ointment into the conjunctival sac appears to be effective, well tolerated, and safe in the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis refractory to traditional treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-549
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Allergic
  • Conjunctivitis
  • FK-506
  • Protopic
  • Tacrolimus


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