Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ophthalmology. 1997 Sep;104(9):1402-8.

Efficacy and safety of 0.3% carbomer gel compared to placebo in patients with moderate-to-severe dry eye syndrome.

Author information

Corneal Clinic, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, East Melbourne, Australia.



Carbomer gel is a water-soluble polymeric resin that has been reported to maintain the tear film in contact with the eye for an extended period. The efficacy and safety of this new artificial tear were assessed.


A multicenter, single-masked, randomized, placebo-controlled study was carried out on 123 patients with moderate-to-severe dry eyes. The placebo was a mannitol solution with benzalkonium chloride 0.008% as preservative. Patients were observed over an 8-week period, and subjective and objective changes analyzed, compared to a baseline of no therapy, after 1 to 7 days washout period from previous medication.


All primary subjective symptoms decreased significantly in the carbomer gel-treated group compared to the placebo group (i.e., dryness, discomfort, and foreign body sensation). The carbomer gel also significantly improved the rose bengal staining score relative to placebo. When data for the primary subjective efficacy variables were stratified for disease severity, there was a statistically significant improvement from baseline by day 10 for severely affected patients and from day 42 for patients with moderate disease. Secondary subjective symptoms that improved significantly in the tear gel group compared to placebo were photophobia, erythema, tear breakup time, blurry-filmy, dry-sandy sensation, and physician impression. However, no significant improvements in the secondary subjective symptoms of tearing, itching, scaling, conjuctival discharge, palpebral conjunctival redness, bulbar conjuctival redness, conjunctival luster, relief of discomfort, ease of use, and overall acceptability were found in either group over the baseline score. In addition, neither carbomer gel nor placebo improved the baseline fluorescein staining score or the Schirmer test score. Two patients suffered local allergic reactions to the carbomer gel or its preservative, which settled on withdrawal of the medication.


Carbomer gel was more efficacious than was placebo in improving a number of subjective and objective symptoms of moderate-to-severe dry eye syndrome. The results of this study indicate that carbomer gel was a safe as was the placebo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center