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'Painless' glaucoma drug launched

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A new drug could help save the sight of thousands of glaucoma sufferers without any unpleasant side effects, it has been claimed.

Tafluprost, which is administered in eye drop form, is the first treatment of its kind to avoid the unpleasant side effects of other medications. These include burning, itching and a painful ‘dry eye’ sensation.

It contains none of the detergents that give rise to such adverse reactions and is said to be more ‘patient friendly’ than its predecessors.

The breakthrough is being heralded as a breakthrough for the estimated 500,000 glaucoma sufferers in the UK, a tenth of whom prefer to risk sight loss rather than brave the extreme side-effects of existing treatments.

Keith Martin, consultant ophthalmologist at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, said: ‘Over 10% of people with glaucoma are at risk of blindness because they cannot tolerate current sight-saving eye drops containing harmful toxins including detergents.

‘Today, for the first time, people in the UK will have access to a toxin-free sight-saving treatment that is powerful, well-tolerated and does not cause damage to the eye. This breakthrough is widely welcomed by the ophthalmology community.’

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