New drugs may help prevent blindness from thyroid disease

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By Serena Gordon
Reporter HealthDay

WEDNESDAY, January 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Newly approved teprotumumab may provide hope for adults with thyroid disease, a rare and potentially blind condition.

This is the first approved treatment specifically for thyroid disease. The drug was approved on Tuesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It will be marketed under the brand name Tepezza.

"This could be a drug that provides a new approach and paradigm shift," said Dr. Raymond Douglas, lead author of a study that the FDA considered when making the final decision. "Currently, we use supportive therapy for people with thyroid disease, but their quality of life is impaired by their symptoms.

"Teprotumumab has a special effect. We hope that people with thyroid disease will not suffer like they used to. With treatment, they won't be blind. They won't be deformed. They can even even watch their kids play football when the weather is getting windy, "Douglas explained. (If left untreated, the wind may be too dry for the eyes.)

In people who are sick, inflammation behind the eyes causes the eyes to swell. Swelling can also pinch the optic nerve, causing vision problems, said Douglas, a professor of surgery at ophthalmology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Thyroid disease often develops in people with overactive thyroid …


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