Do preservatives enhance corneal permeability and thus the effectiveness of ophthalmic drugs? Review article
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Preservatives used in ophthalmic preparations are chemical compounds with an antibactericidal effect. They ensure the sterility of the drug, preventing accidental contamination with microorganisms and the development of microorganisms in the bottle, which may cause infection of the eye tissues, and additionally change the physicochemical properties of the active substance. The most commonly used preservative in ophthalmology is benzalkonium chloride which, by acting as a surfactant, unseals the connections between corneal epithelial cells, facilitating the penetration of the drug. Studies in rabbits using benzalkonium chloride have shown a significant increase in corneal penetration. Studies comparing the same effectiveness of drugs without preservatives in relation to drugs with preservatives have been carried out many times, showing similar effects of preparations in most studies. Some studies, however, describe a better effect of preserved drugs, which will be presented in the article.
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