Article Date: 1/1/2001

New Drugs for 2001

Pharmacology expert Dr. Jimmy Bartlett highlights the newest drugs to make their way into  practice.

Jimmy D. Bartlett, O.D., F.A.A.O., Birmingham, Ala.

Last year seemed to be the year of allergy medications, but this year brings us a different trend. This year, we'll see a handful of new glaucoma drugs.

Overall, a trend I see becoming more apparent is the step toward improving our patients' compliance by moving to once- or twice-daily dosing. I think this will become a long-term trend.

Whenever a new drug makes its way into the ophthalmic market, we should learn as much about it as possible so that we use it safely and correctly. Of course, doing so only benefits our patients and us.

To help familiarize yourselves with some of the newcomers to our practice, we'll look at some of the important drugs that have either recently been approved or are scheduled for approval this year. We'll also review some promising drugs in the pipeline.


Three new anti-allergy medications became available to us last year. Here's a look at each:


Of all the fluoroquinolone anti-infectives available, this one is better against gram-positive organisms such as streptococcus.

Steroid anti-inflammatories

I expect that FDA approval of this next drug will occur some time this year.

Glaucoma medications

As mentioned earlier, this category holds the most new developments in ocular drugs.

Be cautious and wise

Many new drugs are now available to help us take even better care of our patients' ocular needs.

Use them carefully with your full consideration given to their uses, potential side effects and contraindications.

Dr. Bartlett is interim chair at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Optometry. He's also a professor of optometry at UAB School of Optometry and is a professor of pharmacology at the UAB School of Medicine.

Optometric Management, Issue: January 2001