Floppy Iris: Flomax, the number one prescribed drug for relieving the symptoms of prostate enlargement, makes cataract surgery difficult. The drug is popular because it is very specific for a type of receptor that is found in the smooth muscle of the prostate and bladder. By blocking the receptor, it makes those muscles relax, and so urine can flow more freely. It turns out, however, that the same receptor is in the smooth muscle that controls the iris of the eye. Ophthalmologists have found that when they take out a cataract in Flomax patients, the iris is all floppy and hard to keep in place. How do they know it was caused by Flomax? Just about every patient with a floppy iris had taken the drug. What's more, they found it even in people who had been off of Flomax - in one case for three years.
The condition is only a problem during cataract surgery, and only in the sense that it makes the surgery unexepectedly more complicated. But ophthalmologists can use tools like this to make the surgery go more smoothly. It just helps if they can anticipate it by being aware of the condition and the drugs their patients take.
Bottom line: If you take or have taken Flomax for prostate problems and you are planning to have cataract surgery - be sure to tell your eye doctor. posted by Sydney on
11/20/2005 07:48:00 AM