How many drops are needed and how often to relieve dry eye symptoms?
Each application should consist of one or two drops (to each eye if needed). There is no harm if accidentally you applied more drops. Many users find that one or two drops twice daily are enough. Other users apply them more frequently. We would recommend starting with the lower frequency and increasing it only if you do not obtain adequate relief.
How long will it take to get relief from symptoms such as dry eye, redness, and inflammation?
Most users experience a rapid improvement in symptoms (i.e. burning sensation, dryness, grittiness etc). It is important to objectively measure different aspects of one’s symptoms since some aspects (particularly of dry eye) may take longer to resolve than others. To accurately measure symptoms and track your improvement, we recommend taking an online survey regularly—to learn how, see the last answer below).
How many drops should I use and how often for pinguecula, pterygium or cataract?
The optimal dose will be found once very large clinical trials with thousands of users are carried out to test and compare multiple dosages and frequencies of administration. Meanwhile, users have been administering the drops twice daily, with some people using it up to 6 times daily. We would recommend starting with the lower frequency and increasing it only if you do not obtain adequate relief.
How long will it take to heal a pinguecula or pterygium?
Some users have had significant responses starting around 6 and 8 weeks. The more significant the pterygium or pinguecula, and the longer it has existed, the longer it is expected to take to resolve. This could be one year or more. It is important to note that without having a professional ophthalmologic measurement of a pterygium before and after starting the drops, it might be difficult to gauge if the pterygium/pinguecula is actually responding-- until the changes become very noticeably obvious. Also, other symptoms that tend to come along with a pterygium, like redness, dryness and inflammation, usually respond much more quickly for many people. This is typically followed by an improvement in the hyperemia (red blood vessels) which tend to start disappearing before the actual pterygium or pinguecula shrinks in size. If your symptoms improve, this may factor into your consideration of whether to keep using the drops while waiting for the pterygium/pinguecula to respond.
Are there any reported side effects?
The experience of the vast majority of users so far has been without any side effects. Some users have reported stinging for a few seconds (a result of the pH change that gets corrected rapidly by the ocular surface) but not all patients experience this stinging; it should not be used as an indication of the drops working (as some users have asked). A small number of users have reported greater feeling of dryness or irritation after starting the drops; for some users, this symptom lasted a few days before resolving.
We are also aware of two groups of researchers who have previously tested these drops at much higher concentration in animals, without toxicity; this information has been published in the medical literature.
Is dipyridamole safe to use in the long term?
Dipyridamole has been around since 1959 and has a long history of safe usage for many other conditions, besides treating angina for which it has been and continues to be used by tens of millions of people worldwide. Long-term high-dose studies in mice have demonstrated that it is non-carcinogenic and non-mutagenic. The pills are generally used as long term treatment (even for 20 - 30 years consecutively), so it is highly unlikely that this therapy will pose any safety risks. The final answers will come from large clinical trials involving thousands of patients. Since dipyridamole is a drug with an excellent safety profile compared to the widely used cyclosporine (the active ingredient of Restasis®), we expect the vast majority of patients to benefit from an improved safety profile.
How can discomfort from applying the drops be reduced or avoided?
To reduce or avoid discomfort, wait for the drops to warm up a little before use rather than using them straight out of the refrigerator.
Is there anything I can do to help with the research and development of these drops?
Yes. Before you start the drops, try taking good pre/post photographs of your eye(s). Take several to ensure you get clear non-blurred pictures. Also, record what symptoms you have, how severe they are, how frequent they are, and what additional treatments (e.g. lubricating drops, other medications) you are using. After you start the drops, track your symptoms and additional treatments as often as you are able. Over time you will be able to accurately track your progress. If you wish, you can track your pre/post progress easily through MedInsight’s online symptom survey, available here. It is also very helpful if you share this information with us by using the online survey; we would like to know how well it works for you and any constructive feedback.
Are the drops safe for contact lenses wearers?
We are not aware of any complications associated with using dipyridamole drops while wearing contact lenses.
Are the drops safe to use during pregnancy?
The quantity of dipyridamole in the drops is so small that hardly any (if at all) is expected to pass into the blood. Dipyridamole, even at doses 75,000 time higher than in the drops has not been shown to be problematic in pregnancy, and on the contrary has been used successfully for treating some complications in pregnancy. Please refer to http://www.drugs.com/pregnancy/dipyridamole.html.
How do I go about finding an ophthalmologist in my area that would be willing to follow my progress?
We do not maintain a list of ophthalmologists who are aware of dipyridamole. If your local ophthalmologist is unaware of dipyridamole and is interested to learn about it, please feel free to make them aware of this website and its contents.