Research: MARSHALL and ROACH,

Listed in Issue 237

Abstract

MARSHALL and ROACH, (1)Mercer University College of Pharmacy, Atlanta, Georgia reviewed the current recommendations for the prevention and treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Background

AMD is a leading cause of visual impairment in older adults. At present there is no cure for advanced AMD, but intravitreal vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors minimize and even reverse vision loss in patients with AMD of the neovascular type.

Methodology

Data Sources: Articles indexed in PubMed (National Library of Medicine), the Cochrane Reviews and Trials, Dynamed, and Iowa Drug Information Service (IDIS) in the last 10 years using the key words macular degeneration, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), AMD and treatment, AMD and prevention. Study Selection And Data Extraction: Sixty-nine published papers were reviewed, and criteria supporting the primary objective were used to identify useful resources. Data Synthesis: The literature included practice guidelines, original research articles, review articles, product prescribing information, and supplement product information for the prevention and treatment of AMD.

Results

In the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), participants with intermediate AMD who received a supplement combination of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and zinc had a greater delay in progression to advanced AMD than those participants who received a portion of these supplements. In the second AREDS, AREDS2, the addition of lutein + zeaxanthin, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) + eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), or lutein + zeaxanthin and DHA + EPA to the complete AREDS formulation did not further reduce the risk of progression to advanced AMD. Subgroup analyses indicated that additional research with lutein + zeaxanthin supplementation is warranted as it was beneficial in participants with low dietary intake of lutein + zeaxanthin.

Conclusion

A formulation without beta-carotene may be best for most patients, especially smokers or former smokers. Health care professionals will want to consider patient-specific information before recommending ocular health supplements.

References

Marshall LL(1) and Roach JM. Prevention and treatment of age-related macular degeneration: an update for pharmacists. Consult Pharm. 28(11):723-37. doi: 10.4140/TCP.n.2013.723. Nov 2013.

Comment

This review of data from Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) indicated that participants with intermediate age-related macular degeneration (AMD) who received a supplement combination of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and zinc had a greater delay in progression to advanced AMD than those participants who received only a portion of these supplements.

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