Sustained drug delivery for glaucoma: current data and future trends

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Purpose of review

Sustained drug delivery has been recognized as a need for patients with ocular hypertension or glaucomatous optic neuropathy. Several sustained drug delivery systems and devices are currently on the horizon. This review aims to summarize initial results with these platforms, as reported in the literature, and also provide insight into their possible role in the glaucoma treatment paradigm.

Recent findings

Sustained drug delivery systems currently on the horizon include the topical bimatoprost ocular insert, travoprost and latanoprost punctal plugs, latanoprost-eluting contact lenses, bimatoprost and travoprost intraocular implants, as well as several other therapies in earlier stages of development. Delivery strategies differ with respect to ocular site of implantation, ocular hypotensive agent, and duration of efficacy. Efficacy and safety outcomes with these devices are favorable thus far.


The glaucoma treatment paradigm is currently in a state of flux as sustained drug delivery systems bring promise to individuals suffering from ocular hypertension or glaucoma. Several options will likely become available in the near future to ease the burden of daily administration of chronic therapy with intraocular pressure-lowering agents.

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