Topical proparacaine eye drops to improve the experience of patients undergoing intravitreal injections: A randomized controlled trial

Margaret M. Reynolds, Sharon L. Mercill, Amber L. Wirkus, Kerryl Greenwood Quaintance, Jose S. Pulido

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: We sought to evaluate whether additional topical anesthetic, specifically proparacaine 0.5%, improved patient experience with intravitreal injections without hindering antisepsis. Methods: A prospective, randomized controlled trial was conducted including 36 eyes of 36 patients undergoing intravitreal injections. Patients were randomized to treatment with additional topical proparacaine 0.5% versus control after undergoing informed consent. All patients prior to intravitreal injection underwent conjunctival culture after one drop of topical proparacaine 0.5% was placed. Half of patients then received an additional drop of proparacaine and then underwent a second conjunctival culture. The other half of patients had a drop of povidone iodine and then a second conjunctival culture. Intravitreal injection followed conjunctival cultures. To evaluate their experience, patients were provided with a survey. Results: In total, 36 patients were enrolled in the study. Three of 36 (8.3%) patients had positive conjunctival cultures after proparacaine eye drops alone. One of 17 (5.8%) patients had a positive conjunctival culture after a second drop of proparacaine. One of 19 (5.3%) patients had a positive culture after proparacaine and povidone iodine. By noninferiority analysis, proparacaine was inferior to povidone iodine (p =.28). Patient experience surveys did not differ between groups. Conclusion: Patient perception did not significantly differ whether or not additional proparacaine drops were used prior to intravitreal injection in a randomized controlled trial. While proparacaine has some antiseptic properties, these were found to be inferior to those of povidone iodine. Therefore, while povidone iodine is essential for antisepsis, additional proparacaine drops should not interfere with antisepsis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1454-1460
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Microbiology
  • age-related macular degeneration
  • diabetic macular edema
  • endophthalmitis
  • infectious endophthalmitis
  • pharmacology
  • retina
  • retina—medical therapies
  • vitreous


Dive into the research topics of 'Topical proparacaine eye drops to improve the experience of patients undergoing intravitreal injections: A randomized controlled trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this