Drugs That Cause Cataracts

July 10, 2017 - Cataracts

Today cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans 40 and older. Cataract prevention can be as simple as avoiding photosensitizing drugs and over-exposure to the sun. Photosensitizing drugs can cause a chemical change in the eye tissue, making your eyes more vulnerable to sun damage and the formation of cataractsPhotosensitizing drugs cause a chemical change in the eye tissue which can make you more vulnerable to sunlight, and too much sun exposure contributes to Cataract formation.

Top Steroids:

Steroids are used primarily as an anti-inflammatory for types of arthritis, asthma, and lupus.

  • Glucocorticoids
  • corticosteroids
  • Prednisone
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Cortisone

Top Photosensitizing Drugs:

  • Birth control pills
  • Antihistamines
  • Sulfa drugs
  • Tranquilizers
  • Antidepressants
  • Oral antidiabetic drugs
  • NSAIDS (NonSteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug)  
    • Advil
    • Ibuprofen
    • Meclofen
    • Motrin

The risk of developing a Cataract is much higher in patients taking a Glucocorticoid such as Prednisone. It is dose-dependent meaning that the increased risk of cataract development comes from taking over 10 mg daily for a year. Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts are the quickest to form and no longer taking the medication will get stop the cataract from growing.

A notice for men, if getting surgery to remove the cataract common prostate drugs like Tamsulosin and Flomax increase the chance of surgical complications like IFIS (Intraoperative floppy iris syndrome). These drugs can relax the muscles in the Iris causing the pupil to suddenly constrict hindering a surgeon’s ability to successfully complete the operation.

If it is necessary to take any steroids, or photosensitizing drugs above be sure to get plenty of antioxidants such as lutein, Zeaxanthin, and vitamin E, and vitamin C for Cataract prevention.