Systemic drugs and ocular side effects

30 November 2018
Autumn 2018

The eye is second only to the liver as the most common site to be affected by drug toxicity.

Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are the negative effects of medication extraneous to intended therapy (Santaella and Fraunfelder, 2007). Around 6.5 per cent of hospital admissions have been attributed to various ADRs – most commonly, gastrointestinal bleeding caused by aspirin (Nickless and Davies, 2016).

John Lawrenson FCOptom, Professor of Clinical Visual Science at City, University of London, says: “Given its complexity and rich blood supply, the eye is particularly susceptible to ADRs. Optometrists are well placed to detect such drug-induced changes in ocular structure and function. This includes the side effects of established drugs as well as those associated with newly licensed drugs.”

Sign in to continue

Forgotten password?
Register

Not already a member of The College?

Start enjoying the benefits of College membership today. Take a look at what the College can offer you and view our membership categories and rates.

Related further reading

Incredible side-by-side photos show the true impact common eye conditions, such as cataracts and short-sightedness, have on obstructing drivers’ vision

This article provides practical tips for assessing and managing eye health in people with varying degrees of hearing loss.

As our Editor in Chief steps into a new role, we look at how hospital clinics and practices coped with the pressures of the pandemic, and how we can provide services tailored to patients' needs.