Steroid drugs may pose vision danger, stronger warning urged

Source: USA Today

Steroid drugs such as prednisone taken by 25.5 million Americans for arthritis, cancer, transplants and other conditions need stronger consumer warnings about a rare but possibly irreversible vision impairment, a University of Michigan eye doctor and the consumer Public Citizen organization said Tuesday in a federal petition for stronger warning labels on the drugs.

The problem, chorioretinopathy, which causes distortion in vision, is not well known to doctors, U-M’s Jonathan Trobe said.

Given the number of people who take the drugs, “it’s useful to know that a lot of visual complications are associated with steroids and if people develop a problem they should see an eye care specialist,” said Trobe, professor of ophthalmology and neurology at U-M.

Trobe joined the nonprofit Washington, D.C., organization in calling for stronger and more consistent warnings about the drugs.

Known generically as glucocorticosteriods, the medicines have been on the market for decades.

Only two manufacturers of more than a dozen list the complication on drug labels as a potential side effect, said Dr. Michael Carome, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.

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Categories: Health

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