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J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Apr;27(2):173-8. doi: 10.1089/jop.2010.0135. Epub 2011 Feb 25.

Ocular penetration and anti-inflammatory activity of ketorolac 0.45% and bromfenac 0.09% against lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation.

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  • 1Raven Biosolutions LLC, San Carlos, CA 94070, USA. david_waterbury@yahoo.com



Anti-inflammatory activity of topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is mediated by suppression of cyclooxygenase (COX) isoenzymes. This study compared ocular penetration and inflammation suppression of topical ketorolac 0.45% and bromfenac 0.09% ophthalmic solutions in a rabbit model.


At hour 0, 36 rabbits received ketorolac 0.45%, bromfenac 0.09%, or an artificial tear 3 times once every 20 min. Half of the rabbits in each group then received intravenous injections of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran at hour 1, and the other half at hour 10. Aqueous and iris-ciliary body (ICB) samples were collected in the former group at hour 2 (peak) and in the latter group at hour 11 (trough) An additional group of 6 animals received only FITC-dextran, and samples were collected 1 h later. Peak and trough nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug concentrations were compared with previously determined half-maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC(50)) for COX isoenzymes.


Peak and trough aqueous and ICB concentrations of ketorolac were at least 7-fold or greater than those of bromfenac. At peak levels, both ketorolac 0.45% and bromfenac 0.09% significantly inhibited LPS-induced aqueous prostaglandin E(2) and FITC-dextran elevation (P < 0.01). At trough, both study drugs significantly inhibited LPS-induced aqueous prostaglandin E(2) elevation (P < 0.05), but only ketorolac 0.45% significantly reduced LPS-induced aqueous FITC-dextran elevation (P < 0.01). Aqueous and ICB ketorolac concentrations exceeded its IC(50) for COX-1 and COX-2 at peak and trough. Aqueous and ICB bromfenac levels exceeded its IC(50) for COX-2 at peak and trough, but not for COX-1 at trough aqueous levels and peak and trough ICB levels.


Both ketorolac 0.45% and bromfenac 0.09% effectively suppressed inflammation at peak. At trough, only ketorolac 0.45% effectively suppressed inflammation as measured by FITC-dextran leakage. The difference in inflammation suppression may be due to differences in tissue concentrations and/or greater COX-1 suppression by ketorolac 0.45%.

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