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To review acute angle closure attacks induced by local and systemic medications. PubMed literature searches up to August 2011. The following key words were used for the search: "drug", "iatrogenic", "acute angle closure glaucoma". A total of 86 articles were retrieved using the key words. Only those concerning acute angle closure attack triggered by local or systemic drug administration were included. For articles on the same or related topics, those published at later or more recent dates were selected. As a result, 44 articles were included and formed the basis of this review. An acute attack of angle closure can be triggered by dilatation of the pupil, by anatomical changes in the ciliary body and iris, or by movement of the iris-lens diaphragm. Local and systemic medications that cause these changes have the potential to precipitate an attack of acute angle closure. The risk is higher in subjects who are predisposed to the development of angle closure. Many pharmaceutical agents including ophthalmic eyedrops and systemic drugs prescribed by general practitioners and various specialists (in psychiatry, otorhinolaryngology, ophthalmology, medicine, and anaesthesia) can precipitate an acute angle closure attack. The medications include: anti-histamines, anti-epileptics, antiparkinsonian agents, antispasmolytic drugs, mydriatic agents, sympathetic agents, and botulinum toxin. Since acute angle closure attack is a potentially blinding eye disease, it is extremely important to be vigilant and aware of ophthalmic and systemic medications that can lead to such attacks in predisposed subjects and to diagnose the condition when it occurs.


Jimmy S M Lai, Rita A Gangwani. Medication-induced acute angle closure attack. Hong Kong medical journal = Xianggang yi xue za zhi / Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. 2012 Apr;18(2):139-45

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PMID: 22477738

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