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Rebamipide eyedrops are approved in Japan for the treatment of dry eye disease. Some patients with allergic conjunctival diseases also manifest dry eye. Earlier we reported that rebamipide suppressed polyI:C-induced inflammatory cytokines in human conjunctival epithelial cells. In the current study we examined the effect of rebamipide eyedrops on the level of interleukin-8 (IL-8), eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), and total IgE on the ocular surface.We prescribed rebamipide eyedrops to patients with atopic keratoconjunctivitis (AKC) who presented with dry eye (6 eyes in 4 AKC patients) and measured the IL-8, ECP, and total IgE levels in their tears before- and 2, and 4-6 weeks after the start of rebamipide treatment. To measure the IL-8 and total IgE levels in their tears we used BDTM CBA Flex sets; ECP measurements were with ELISA. The level of IL-8, ECP, and total IgE in the tears of AKC patients was reduced significantly 4-6 weeks after the start of rebamipide treatment. We also recorded subjective symptoms associated with AKC, e.g. itching, foreign body sensation, and eye mucus discharge, by using a patient questionnaire. Their subjective symptoms associated with AKC were also significantly ameliorated at 2 and 4-6 weeks.Our observations suggest that the anti-inflammatory effects of rebamipide eyedrops help to combat human ocular surface inflammation and that they may be a new effective therapy in patients with AKC.
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