Apraclonidine in the treatment of ptosis.
Transient ptosis is a known complication of botulinum toxin (BoNT) injection due to inadvertent migration of toxin into the levator palpebrae superioris muscle. Currently there is no treatment available for BoNT induced ptosis. Apraclonidine hydrochloride is a topical ophthalmic solution with selective alpha-2 and weak alpha-1 receptor agonist activity that has the ability to elevate the eye lid. Apraclonidine has been used as a diagnostic test in Horner's syndrome. We evaluated the effects apraclonidine in a cohort of BoNT induced ptosis and a patient with Horner syndrome. Each patient was administered 2 drops of apraclonidine 0.5% solution to the eye with the ptosis and was re-examined 20-30min later. All 6 patients showed improvement in ptosis. There was also improvement in ptosis in a patient with Horner's syndrome. Apraclonidine is not only useful as a diagnostic test in Horner's syndrome, but may be an effective and safe treatment for BoNT-induced ptosis.