Low-Dose Naltrexone Evaluated for Neuropathic Corneal Pain

This article is part of MPR’s coverage of the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2019 Meeting, taking place in San Francisco, CA. Our staff will report on medical research related to eye disorders, conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from AAO 2019.

SAN FRANCISCO – Among patients with neuropathic corneal pain, adjunctive treatment with low-dose naltrexone was found to be effective and well-tolerated, according to data presented at the 2019 American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

To assess the efficacy and tolerability of low-dose naltrexone (1.5 to 4.5mg) in patients with clinically diagnosed neuropathic corneal pain, the researchers performed a retrospective chart review of which 30 out of 70 patients were included in the final analysis; all patients had previously received systemic medications (ie, nortriptyline, SSRI). Study outcome measures included assessment of mean pain levels (using VAS scale) and interference of pain in quality of life.

Results showed that the average percent improvement in pain was 49.22%; 53.33% (n=16) of patients had ≥50% improvement. In addition, significant improvements in quality of life scores were also reported with low-dose naltrexone in the last visit compared with the first visit.

Based on their findings, the authors concluded that low-dose naltrexone appears to be effective as an adjunct treatment in patients with neuropathic corneal pain. However, they noted that the “retrospective nature and relatively small sample size” were limitations of the study.


Dieckmann, G. Low-Dose Naltrexone Is Effective and Well Tolerated in Patients With Neuropathic Corneal Pain. Poster number: PO084. The American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting; October 12-15 2019.