Atropine for Myopia Management
Atropine eye drops are a common option offered for myopia management at Madison Eye Care.
Studies have shown that the use of Atropine for myopia control can help reduce progression by 30%-50% especially when combined with Ortho-K lenses.
Atropine 0.01% is a topical ophthalmic solution. The concentration of this medication is a unique formula; therefore, the prescription is sent to a large, trustworthy compounding pharmacy that will create the medication and then ship the bottles directly to you.
Atropine 0.01% used for myopia control is considered “off-label”, as it is not approved by the FDA. Despite this, clinical research has strong support of this method of myopia control and is considered an acceptable therapy among eye doctors. Because it is “off-label”, it is not covered by medical insurance.
Full strength atropine is a strong dilation drop used in certain situations in eye care for a strong pupil dilation and relaxation of the focusing system. For myopia control, studies have shown that a very dilute concentration (0.01%) is effective in slowing down the progression of myopia as well as the growth of the eye. The side effects of atropine are minimal:
For the eyes, the low dose has minimal effect on pupil size, light sensitivity, the focusing system and near vision.
For the body, the acute side effects would be tachycardia (rapid heart rate), altered mental status, dry mouth and urinary retention, flushing of skin for higher doses of atropine – but has not been displayed in any of the children in clinical studies using low dose atropine.
Long-term side effects are limited primarily to a possible development of an allergy to the drop by seeing redness of the skin around the eyes or redness in the eyes. This is also rare.
Lastly, your child will still need to have glasses and/or contact lenses even with this therapy.
This therapy will not reverse any of the myopia that has already developed.