Drugs to Treat Thyroid Eye Disease Without Surgery

It is unusual for people to hear about thyroid eye disease (TED) which causes vision problems and eye bulging. A new drug called Tepezza is the first nonsurgical treatment introduced for thyroid eye disease (TED) this January 2020. Experts mentioned that the new drug is delivered intravenously and it is better than surgical treatment. It can accomplish what surgery often cannot do.

According to Christopher Starr, MD, an associate professor of ophthalmology, the treatment is a remarkable milestone for the treatment of the disease. People who have used Tepezza experienced a complete resolution of pain, vision loss, and eye protrusion. Just like any other drug, it has precautions. The drug is not advisable for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, have diabetes, or an inflammatory bowel condition including ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.

It is important to know the side effects of Tepezza before using it. The most common side effects include muscle spasms or cramps, hair loss, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, high blood sugar, problems with hearing, changes in taste, headache, or dry skin. Individuals who developed reactions to the IV infusion within 24 hours may need additional care.

The treatments available for rare diseases are often very expensive. New drugs for diseases such as TED have an estimated cost of $14,900 per vial. If it is calculated with full treatment for about six months, it costs approximately $200,000. The out-of-pocket cost and insurance coverage will depend on the plan you have.

Who Are at Risk for Developing Thyroid Eye Disease?

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Each year, it is reported that one million Americans are diagnosed with a thyroid eye disease (TED). The disease is common to people who have Graves’ disease or an overactive thyroid gland. The disease can also occur to people who do not have Grave’s disease. People who smoke and women have a higher risk of developing the disease than other people.

Inflammation and swelling behind the eye are common for people with TED to experience. It leads to having blurry vision, double vision, dryness, redness, and pain. There may be cases where TED can cause permanent blindness.

Can Tepezza Prevent Swelling Behind the Eye?

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The treatment is most effective when it is given during the early stages of TED. Tepezza is known to relieve the inflammation that occurs with TED. It can also benefit people who experience eye-bulging or double vision.

You do not have to worry about the procedure because it only takes one hour. Different types of doctors such as ophthalmologists, rheumatologists, or endocrinologists can prescribe the drug. The IV treatment is given at a specialized outpatient infusion center.

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