Effect of oral donepezil on intraocular pressure in normotensive Alzheimer patients

Stephan Estermann, Gian Carlo Daepp, Katja Cattapan-Ludewig, Magdalena Berkhoff, Beatrice E. Frueh, David Goldblum

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14 Scopus citations


Donepezil, a selective acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor, has been shown to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) in ocular normotensive rabbit eyes. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the effect of oral donepezil on IOP and pupil diameter after mid-term oral treatment in normotensive persons. Thirty-two newly diagnosed Alzheimer patients with normal IOP and no further antiglaucomatous treatment were included in the study. IOP and pupil diameter were evaluated before and 4 weeks after daily intake of 5 mg donepezil. IOP and pupil diameter were significantly lower/smaller after 4 weeks of treatment. The mean IOP of all 63 eyes was 14.1 mmHg before and 12.8 mmHg after treatment (8.8% reduction). Mean pupil diameter constricted from 3.9 to 3.6 mm (-7.4%). These findings show that donepezil, and, possibly, other selective AChE inhibitors, can potentially be used to treat glaucoma. They are also known to have neuroprotective effects in Alzheimer's, and, therefore, might have an additional therapeutic benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-67
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


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