There are different ways of releasing drugs in to the body. When a drug is intraocular, it is placed directly in to the eye.
This method of treatment is being developed for a number of ophthalmic conditions and as research becomes practice, intraocular therapy may be of considerable benefit to idiopathic patients who do not need systemic immune system therapy for an underlying disease. Even better, a variety of devices to get the drugs into the back of the eye, some biodegradable, are being developed.
Steroid is already being released into the eye over a three year period using the Retisert implant.
More recently, patients are receiving Ozurdex implants, which do not last as long but have a better safety profile. Iluvien, a fluocinolone acetonide implant, may be used in the future.
These injections are used in the treatment of macular disease. Some uveitis patients have received them to treat cystoid macular oedema. Their effect is time limited, but they do create a window to get any underlying inflammation back under control.
Two types of anti vegf injections are used in uveitis, Lucentis and Avastin.
Researchers are experimenting with other drugs, such as methotrexate, sirolimus and infliximab. These are being injected into the eye.