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Drugs for the eye: drops or ointments?

Abstract

Many ophthalmic preparations are available both as drops and as ointment but the advantages of one formulation over the other in the treatment of a particular condition have rarely been defined. Recent work on the mechanisms underlying the development of a normal stable precorneal tear film has shown that a particular combination of mucus and tears is required to produce the necessary hydrophilic surface on the cornea which will wet evenly and remain wetted,1 and ideally topical drugs should not impair the integrity of this film.

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