The FDA approved AbbVie’s VUITY™ (pilocarpine HCI ophthalmic solution) in October 2021, the only eye drops approved to treat presbyopia. Presbyopia is a progressive eye condition that makes it increasingly difficult to see near and affects billions of people around the world.
Presbyopia means you have difficulty seeing objects clearly that are close to you. It is a normal part of aging, and it happens to billions of people worldwide. It's not necessarily a medical problem, as it's a part of our natural aging process. Nonetheless, depending on how your vision changes over time, presbyopia can worsen your quality of life after you begin to notice it.
How does VUITY™ work for treating presbyopia?
Presbyopia is caused by an increasing lack of flexibility in the lenses of the eyes. The lenses sit just behind your pupils, and this stiffness makes it difficult to see things clearly up close. VUITY™ works by making your pupils smaller for a limited period of time so they can better focus on objects that are close to you, while maintaining good distance vision. The smaller pupils increase the depth of field allowing better near and distance vision simultaneously.
VUITY™ contains pilocarpine hydrochloride 1.25% (12.5 mg) as the active ingredient. Pilocarpine is a medication that belongs to the class of medications called miotics – drugs that shrink the pupil of the eye.
How is VUITY™ dosed?
VUITY™ eye drops are given into each eye once daily. Only one drop of Vuity is needed per eye.
Why is FDA approval important?
It's the first eye drop that can be used to treat presbyopia. No other medications have been approved or used to treat this condition. The most common way to treat presbyopia is through eyeglasses such as bifocals or progressives. Depending on your needs, different types of glasses or contacts may be used to correct close-range vision problems.
How effective is VUITY™?
The studies found that Vuity significantly improved short-range vision compared to the placebo after 30 days of use. These effects were studied in low level light conditions, or conditions that are about midway between daylight brightness and darkness found at nighttime.
What are the known side effects of VUITY™?
The most common side effects found in about 15% of patients were headaches and conjunctival redness. Less common side effects that occurred included blurry vision, eye irritation, eye pain and watery eyes.
How much will VUITY™ cost?
It costs about $87 for a 2.5 ml bottle which should last for 50 drops, or about one month of daily use when used in both eyes.
Important Safety considerations when using VUITY™
Do not use VUITY™ if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.
Use caution with night driving or with hazardous activities performed in low light conditions.
Temporary difficulty in adjusting focus between near and distance objects may occur. Do not drive or use machinery if vision is not clear.
Seek immediate medical care if any sudden vision loss occurs.
If you wear contact lenses, they should be removed prior to VUITY™ use and can be reinserted 10 minutes after dosing.
Do not touch the dropper tip to any surface to help avoid contamination.
If more than one topical eye medication is being used, they should be administered at least 5 minutes apart.
The most common side effects are headache and eye redness.
VUITY™ is the first and only medication that can be used to treat presbyopia. Presbyopia is a normal part of aging that can affect your near vision. VUITY™ is a once-daily eye drop that can only be obtained with a prescription after seeing an eye doctor. It's significantly more effective than placebo and it's well tolerated. The drop will improve near vision without the loss of distance vision.