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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Aug 3;52(9):6096-100. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-7057.

Ocular hypotensive effect of oral palmitoyl-ethanolamide: a clinical trial.

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  • 1Institute of Ophthalmology, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.



To investigate the effect of oral palmitoyl-ethanolamide (PEA) on intraocular pressure (IOP) in primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) and ocular hypertension (OH).


In a prospective, randomized, double-blind, crossover clinical trial, 42 patients with POAG or OH who were treated with timolol 0.5% and whose IOP was between 19 and 24 mm Hg received oral PEA (300-mg tablets twice a day) or placebo (PEA vehicle tablets twice a day) for 2 months (period 1), and, after a 2-month washout, received the other treatment for 1 month (period 2). IOP, best-corrected visual acuity, and visual field parameters were considered.


After PEA treatment (mean baseline IOP, 21.6 ± 1.7 mm Hg), IOP was reduced by 3.2 ± 1.3 mm Hg at 1 month and by 3.5 ± 1.2 mm Hg (15.9% ± 5.1%) at 2 months (ANOVA, P < 0.001; both Tukey-Kramer, P < 0.01 vs. baseline); after placebo (mean baseline IOP, 21.5 ± 1.5 mm Hg), IOP was reduced by 0.4 ± 1.2 mm Hg at 1 month and by 0.3 ± 1.3 mm Hg at 2 months (t-test at both time points, P < 0.001 vs. PEA). No statistically significant vital signs, visual field, visual acuity changes, or adverse events were detected in either group.


Systemic administration of PEA reduces IOP in patients with glaucoma and ocular hypertension. PEA could be a valuable tool for the treatment of glaucoma ( number, UMIN000002833).

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