Long-term treatment with atropine may inhibit myopia in child patients.
In a study looking at myopia progression one year after stopping either atropine or placebo in children aged six to 12, patients who had received atropine had a mean progression of -1.14 ± 0.8 D, higher than the -0.38 ± 0.39 D observed in the placebo group.
However, after three years into the trial, including two years of treatment and a oneyear cessation period, children treated with atropine had significantly less progression of myopia when compared with children treated with vehicle alone.
In atropine-treated eyes, the spherical equivalent was -4.29 ± 1.67 D, which compared favorably with the -5.22 ± 1.38 D in placebotreated eyes. Axial length in the treated group was 0.29 ± 0.37 mm compared with 0.52 ± 0.45 mm in the untreated group.
“Although atropine was only used in the first two years of the study, the beneficial effect of the drug on myopia progression was still evident one year after cessation of atropine,” the study authors said.
There was a brief impairment of accommodation and blurring of near vision associated with atropine use in some patients, but both returned to baseline levels within six months of stopping treatment. No other complications were noted in the study.