SAFETY OF INTRAVITREAL DEXAMETHASONE IMPLANT (OZURDEX): The SAFODEX study. Incidence and Risk Factors of Ocular Hypertension

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To analyze the incidence, risk factors, and time course of intraocular pressure elevation after intravitreal dexamethasone implant (Ozurdex).


The medical charts of 421 consecutive eyes (361 patients) receiving one or more Ozurdex implant between October 2010 and February 2015 were reviewed retrospectively. Ocular hypertension was defined as intraocular pressure of at least 25 mmHg or an increase of at least 10 mmHg from baseline. The main indications for treatment were retinal vein occlusion (34%), diabetic macular edema (30%), postsurgical macular edema (17%), uveitis (14%), and other etiologies (5%).


Among 1,000 intravitreal injections, ocular hypertension was recorded for 28.5% of injected eyes over a mean follow-up period of 16.8 months (3–55). Intraocular pressure-lowering medication was required for 31% of eyes. Only three eyes with preexisting glaucoma required filtering surgery to manage postinjection intraocular pressure elevation. Early retreatment between the third and fourth month does not increase the risk of intraocular pressure elevation. Younger age, male sex, Type 1 diabetes, preexisting glaucoma treated with dual or triple therapy, and a history of retinal vein occlusion or uveitis were significant risk factors for ocular hypertension after dexamethasone implant injection (P < 0.05 for all the above).


Episodes of ocular hypertension after Ozurdex implant were generally transient and successfully managed with topical treatment. An analysis of the risk factors may help to determine the risk–benefit ratio for individual patients treated with dexamethasone implants.

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