How Does Ophthalmic Mitomycin Work?

What is ophthalmic mitomycin and how does it work?

Ophthalmic mitomycin is a medication used to prevent scar tissue formation after certain eye surgeries. Mitomycin is a type of antitumor antibiotic that is typically used to stop the growth of cancer cells in certain types of cancers. Mitomycin stops cell growth and division by inhibiting DNA synthesis.

After an eye surgery, the wound healing process normally involves the growth of cells that form new tissue to close the wound. Ophthalmic mitomycin prevents the formation of new tissue which can close openings created in parts of the eye for fluid drainage or other reasons.

How is ophthalmic mitomycin used?

Ophthalmic mitomycin is a solution that is topically applied on the surgical site after the surgery. The surgical site is thoroughly irrigated after two minutes, because the medication can cause cell death if it gets into healthy eye tissue.

The uses of ophthalmic mitomycin include:

  • Prevention of closure of the drainage hole after glaucoma filtration surgery (trabeculectomy), a procedure in which a tiny hole is made in the white layer of the eye (sclera), to drain the fluid in the anterior part of the eye (aqueous humor) and reduce intraocular pressure. Glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease that damages the optic nerve, and reducing intraocular pressure is the primary treatment for glaucoma.
  • Prevention of recurrence after removal of pterygium, a benign growth in the conjunctiva.
  • Prevention of clouding of the cornea (corneal haze) after corneal refractive surgery, a vision correction laser surgery.

What are the side effects of ophthalmic mitomycin?

Side effects of ophthalmic mitomycin may include:

  • Bleb-related leak, ulceration, infection or other issues, known as blebitis. Bleb is a blister-like fluid collection on the eye surface through which the fluid drains out after glaucoma filtration surgery.
  • Corneal reactions such as corneal damage, corneal adhesion to the iris, corneal inflammation, and detachment of Descemet’s membrane, an inner corneal layer.
  • Decreased intraocular pressure (hypotony) and resultant complications
  • Inflammation of the intraocular cavities (endophthalmitis)
  • Cataract formation
  • Opacification of the capsule around the lens
  • Retinal tear or detachment
  • Wound opening (dehiscence)
  • Vascular problems such as anterior chamber blood pooling, retinal vein block, hemorrhage in the retina, vitreous or conjunctiva, and blood clot
  • Macular edema (swelling of macula, the central portion of the retina)
  • Sclera thinning or ulceration
  • Swelling or hemorrhage of the optic disc, the area where the retina connects to the optic nerve
  • Malignant glaucoma, in which the aqueous humor flows into the vitreous cavity and increases pressure in the posterior eye segment
  • Obstruction of tear drainage system
  • Conjunctival degeneration
  • Upper eyelid detraction
  • Reduced visual acuity
  • Vision loss

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of some ophthalmic mitomycin drugs?

Generic and brand names of ophthalmic mitomycin include:


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