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Subspecialties Comprehensive, Basic & Translational Research

Bulge, Begone

Thyroid eye disease is rare, but its effects are significant. The condition is associated with outward bulging of the eye and can cause eye pain, double vision, and light sensitivity, which can be severe enough to affect daily activities. But there is hope. Teprotumumab has become the first FDA-approved medicine for thyroid eye disease after a study found that it improves eye bulging, regardless of patient gender, age, or smoking status.

Researchers analyzed data from 170 patients with thyroid eye disease, over two 24-week studies. The combined results from the two studies showed that 77.4 percent of patients had a reduction in eye bulging, compared with 14.9 percent of those receiving a placebo. In new data that was to be presented at a now-canceled endocrinology conference in March, the researchers also looked at whether patients’ gender, smoking status, and age influenced the drug’s response rate. At week 24, significantly more patients receiving teprotumumab had significant improvements in their eye bulging compared with those who received a placebo, regardless of these outside factors.

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  1. U.S. Food & Drug (2020). Available at:
  2. Horizon (2020). Available at:

About the Author

Phoebe Harkin

Associate Editor of The Ophthalmologist

I’ve always loved telling stories. So much so, I decided to make a job of it. I finished a Masters in Magazine Journalism and spent three years working as a creative copywriter before itchy feet sent me (back)packing. It took seven months and 13 countries, but I’m now happily settled on The Ophthalmologist, where I’m busy getting stuck into all things eyeballs.

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